Oor Mad History

OMH logo

What does the project do?

We’re a community history and arts as advocacy project based at CAPS. Set up in 2008, our aim is to reclaim and promote the history of activism and collective advocacy by people with mental health issues. We use community history and the arts as a way to have a stronger voice about mental health and the mental health system, build community, challenge assumptions about people who use mental health services and tackle discrimination.

How can I get involved?

Visit our oral history and paper-based archive about the mental health service user movement in Lothian. So far it includes over 70 interviews and a fascinating collection of photographs, posters, t-shirts and much more! There is also the opportunity to add to this collection if you have anything you wish to contribute.  

1 Jim and archive boxesRENOIR

Take part or help organise exhibitions and other events during the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. We have a very active group who see the festival as a great platform for having a voice about mental health. We’ve had large-scale exhibitions in partnership with other organisations, ceilidhs, workshops, open mic nights and stand up comedy. The arts are not just about therapy, they can be a powerful tool for advocacy, provoking discussion and challenging stigma and discrimination.      

Summerhall painting 2
smhaff audience






Get involved with our project in partnership with Queen Margaret University and NHS Lothian Mental Health and Wellbeing Team, which has seen us develop a groundbreaking Scottish Mad Peoples’ History & Identity course, the first of its kind in the world outside Canada.In 2014 we ran the course for the first time and are now looking at developing a community-based and an online version. Exciting times!

Mad peoples history flyer                         Mad peoples history group at mars project screening










For an electronic copy of the Oor Mad History book you can e-mail kirsten@capsadvocacy.org


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