Asylum 30th Anniversary Conference: Crowdfunding For Community

The 30th anniversary of Asylum magazine for democratic psychiatry is happening this year and a conference is taking place in the University of Manchester.  The theme of the conference is Action and Reaction.  Hundreds of delegates are traveling from all over the world to talk about various aspects and ideas, ethics and findings of mental health on the 28th of June.  It is a momentous occasion for a very important platform for ideas.

Asylum magazine first started in 1986 and was available for 50 pence.  It was provided free to patients – or ‘inmates’ as they were referred to.  Starting from the democratic psychiatric survivor movements which had emerged from critical perspectives of how people were being treated in the mental health system, the magazine was formed to try and embody the best of the values.

Championing service users and professional workers, family and sufferers, the publication was a vital missing link providing a place where alternative views and perspectives to the mainstream on subjects of distress, anxiety and how people were being treated.

Today the publication continues to provide a space which allows for discussion and debate by not peddling any single perspective.  Open to people who have lived experience and those who are involved in providing caring services, articles are published from across the spectrum of views.

Raising Money for Community Engagement

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up so that a number of things can happen.  Many well known authors have signed and donated copies of their books so that people who give to the campaign can get rewards for their support. The conference is a representation of ideas which everyone should have access to, so in discussion with the Asylum collective a few things have been devised to extend the reach of the conference far and wide.

Firstly, the conference will migrate into the community from the University of Manchester where a night of arts and information is planned with a feast of fresh food for everyone.


Gullivers music venue in Manchester’s famous Northern Quarter will house two stages and a banquet for everyone who wants to come along.  An eclectic evening of musicians, bands, performance artists and talks will go on in the welcoming and warm atmosphere of celebration – as this is indeed a celebration.
As well as this, a traveling exhibition is being mounted to carry the knowledge, ideas and messages of the conference out into public spaces promoting Asylum magazine to those who have not been aware of it before.  Using a series of travel easels the art exhibition will appear in public spaces like Piccadilly gardens with the posters and art works designed around the conference.

Manchester to Edinburgh

The art exhibition will travel Manchester and eventually find its way to the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival held in Edinburgh during October where it will bring together all the contributions of the conference in Gallery one of St Margarets house – one of the capital’s vibrant art galleries and community spaces.
There people will be able to hear and watch the conference which took place in the University of Manchester and take part in an extension of its activities, embodying what we all know to be true – that these are living issues that are carried in everybodies lives, everywhere…
A book is being brought together from all the contributions of the conference and those who donate to the crowdfunding.  This is unedited and commemorative of the year, published to give a cross sectional view of the thinking out there about this field, in people’s lives, and in the communities who are reshaping the discourse around mental health.

You can find below the links to the Crowdfunder campaign, so if you have some spare money please consider giving to this or buying a subscription to the magazine to ensure it continues into a long and positive future.


Asylum magazine for democratic psychiatry is open to submissions from everybody and people are actively encouraged to get involved in writing for it.