large group of coloured balloons

From music and poetry, dance to hooping, the approach is creative and the ideals quite MAD…


Carnival MAD18 is being held for the fifth year at the Institute of Mental Health and continues to be led by a growing community of people with lived experience of mental distress, difference and diversity.

A heady mix of conference and carnival around mental health themes, this annual event brings together those with lived experience, alongside those with “learned” experience: mental health practitioners, professionals, researchers and academics

This year’s event will be held on Saturday 13th October, from 9am – 5pm at the Institute of Mental Health.

The programme throughout the day is set to explore the question:  “Could or should MAD spaces exist within academic processes and places?”

MAD studies embody the history, culture and collective experience of people living with mental distress, difference and diversity, and integrates academia with activism.

The MAD principles are:

Maladjustment to unkindness, unfairness and oppression

Architects and Activists of resilience and well-being

Dialogue, Deconstruction and Discovery


Event programme

Anyone is welcome to attend the carnival, and  the programme runs throughout the day including:

Balancing acts - Jenn Leyton: Hooping through my dual identities

Twisted Rose - Andy Farr: Reflects on his current exhibition at the Institute of Mental Health

The unifying expression of dance - Elvira Perez: Moving body and mind

Trying to learn from lived experience - Mike Slade: Thoughts on co-researching within institutions

Witness on the edge - Gary Winship: Discussing MAD clinicians and researchers through history

All those pretty boxes - Julie Gosling: Unwraps co-production and PPI partnerships

Maintaining scholarly MAD identities: Louise Hunt,  Binta Jammeh, Paul Radin share lived experiences within the academy

Music is my other self - Ben Clubbs: Coldron Band

Surviving through Music - Stefan Rennick Eggleston: Plays the tenor banjo

Telling it together - Institute of Mental Health creative writing group: Healing individual and collective identities  through writing

People Power and Poetry - Janelle Brown, Eagle Spitz and Rachel Joy: Local survivor poets

It's Magic - Wez Smith: Card tricks, balloons and more


A running debate, fuelled by our presentations on the question of:

“Could or should MAD spaces exist within  academic processes and places?”

What are the opportunities or threats? What creates, nurtures or stifles them?

Come to the carnival and have your say!