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'Community' Reconsidered

Understanding community among people who have been diagnosed with psychosis


What are we doing / what have we done?

What experiences, beliefs, behaviours, and spaces constitute community participation for people who have been diagnosed with psychosis?

Where are people who have been diagnosed with psychosis finding social interaction and belonging?

What challenges are they encountering?

What does community and belonging look and feel like to them?

By talking to people who have been diagnosed with psychosis and community members, including service providers, in Toronto, we hope to answer these questions; we aim to develop a better understanding of how people who have been diagnosed with psychosis experience the communities they participate in.

We plan to use what we learn from our research project to inform the types of supports that people need to access community resources and to provide an informed definition of community to guide policy and service development.


Pieces of the Project

This project consists of two research studies, each containing many participants and types of data. With a focus on the city of Toronto, we are:

  • exploring how diverse racialized groups of people who have been diagnosed with psychosis engage and define community in five downtown Toronto neighbourhoods (AKA Main Study)
  • exploring community among LGBTQ people who have been diagnosed with psychosis at a city level (AKA LGBTQ Extension)
  • using multiple methods, including qualitative interviews, ethnography, social resource GIS mapping, and quantitative scales (both studies)
  • speaking with over 100 people in Toronto who play important roles in community spaces such as spiritual leaders, store clerks, librarians, police officers, and service providers (to name a few) (both studies)


On this website we have included some findings from the Main Study, including findings related to specific themes such as food, spirituality, and South Asian people and community. 


Stay tuned for more findings from the Main Study and the LGBTQ Extension!


Where do we go from here?

We are engaging in an effort to push past the "community" rhetoric that pervades much research, policy, service, and public dialogue as it relates to the needs and desires of people with mental health concerns, particularly people who have been diagnosed with psychosis. We hope to provide information that will encourage a critical analysis of the real opportunities and barriers that people with mental health concerns face in their daily lives. With such an analysis our efforts to intervene at all levels, from stigma reduction, to policy, to clinical services, might be strengthened.


Films on inclusive communities

This video shows ways to cultivate inclusive spaces.


Reimagining Inclusion explores the experience of community for individuals that identify as LGBTQ with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.