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Science Studies Research Workshop: “Recovery as Concept, Model and Movement in the Mental Health Field: Is it Time for a New History?” by Nancy Tomes

September 22, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The UB Humanities Institute Science Studies Research Workshop and the Center for Disability Studies present a talk by Nancy Tomes, Ph.D., SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of History, Stony Brook University, former President of the American Association for the History of Medicine, author of Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers (UNC Press, 2016), winner of the prestigious Bancroft Prize

“Recovery as Concept, Model and Movement in the Mental Health Field: Is it Time for a New History?”

In the last part of the film, “Kings Park,” filmmaker Lucy Winer introduces two organizations, Clubhouse of Suffolk Inc. and Hands Across Long Island, that are part of what is sometimes referred to as the recovery “revolution” in mental health care. Since the 1970s, the recovery concept has become central to efforts to empower people with severe and persistent mental illness so that they can live independent and meaningful lives. Advocates of recovery stress the need for supported employment, supported housing, strong community networks and perhaps most importantly, the support and leadership of other people “in recovery” who have experienced what they are experiencing. My talk will look at the emergence of the recovery movement in the mental health field in the 1970s and 1980s. I will discuss how the recovery model differed from previous attempts at “after care,” the other movements that shaped its principles and practices, the impact it had on mental health care and policy more generally, and the challenges it has faced. By reflecting on the history of the recovery model in mental health care, I hope to promote a discussion of where empowerment movements for people with severe and persistent mental illness need to go in the future.

This event is co-sponsored by: The SUNY Research Foundation Network of Excellence in “Health, Disability, Medicine and the Arts-Humanities”; the Departments of Anthropology, English, History, and Media Study; the School of Architecture and Design; and the UB Gender Institute.

We invite UB and community members to attend this talk, whether or not you have seen “Kings Park.” For those who wish to see the film in advance of the talk, dates and times for screening the film will be announced separately.


September 22, 2017
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Science Studies Research Workshop


280 Park Hall