Non-carceral Approaches to Mental Distress in the Post-secondary Context

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 - 10:00 to 11:30

Women's & Gender Studies and Disability Studies in the School of Social Work, and the Student Mental Health Strategy Fund present

Non-carceral Approaches to Mental Distress in the Post-secondary Context

15 February 2022

10:00 am - 11:30 am EST

via Zoom

Register online via ZOOM

This event is free, online, and open to the public.

Accessibility Information: live captions will be automatically generated


Stefanie's Talk:  Stefanie approaches crisis and conflict intervention from an abolitionist, Disability Justice lens (a framework for liberation that seeks to end ableism in connection with ending all other forms of oppression). They believe we are all morally responsible for engaging in care with our communities, and will challenge us to question our willingness and desire to “outsource” students in moments of harm, violence, trauma, or crisis. The understanding that police do not make us safe is widening, and students are asking, what does make us safe? How should we deal with the things students usually call the cops or emergency services about? What skills do we need to cultivate to better engage in peer-led de-escalation? How can we center practices of Transformative Justice in our work to interrupt harm and violence? How do we respond to folks with care and not cages? 

Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu (they/she) is a white, queer and non-binary, Disabled, neurodivergent, survivor of sexual violence and the psychiatric system. They show up for their communities as a Disability Justice educator and organizer, parent, somatic and non-clinical healer, writer, Transformative Justice practitioner, and as the Founding Director of Project LETS. Their work specializes in building non-carceral, peer-led mental health care systems that exist outside of the state— and reimagining everything we’ve come to learn about madness. They are the editor of Abolition Must Include Psychiatry and the author of We Don’t Need Cops to Become Social Workers. Stefanie is an experienced facilitator, mediator, curriculum developer, and strategist for anti-ableist leadership, mental health and Disability policy, and access-centered practices. They are deeply invested in disrupting carceral systems which harm and kill Disabled people globally.

Carly's Talk:  Carly will discuss tools for suicide intervention in peer based and professionalized environments that don’t rely on carceral systems and how supporters can manage and digest the *feeling* of emergency without making the situation into an emergency. They will discuss how their work has evolved and continues to change over time.

Carly Boyce (they/them) is a genderqueer fat femme and an old millennial. They are a facilitator, therapist, and community organizer, whose work lives at the intersection of personal healing and collective liberation, whose lineages come through Jewish witches, leatherdykes and politicized healing workers. Carly has been doing decarceral suicide prevention work informally for 20 years, and teaching about it since 2016. Their zine "helping your friends who sometimes want to die maybe not die" (and more about their work) can be found at and you can follow their outfits and craft projects on instagram @tiny.lantern.

Event Flyer [pdf]

Student Health, Counselling, and Wellness resources flyer [pdf]

Student Health, Counselling, and Wellness website

Below are some guidelines to foster trust and community-building when participating in a virtual event.

Participation is by choice:

Participants are encouraged to engage in Q & A at the end of the session, however, each individual should only participate to the level at which they are comfortable.  


All participants are asked to respect each other’s privacy and not to reveal anything personal that they learn about someone outside of the discussion session.  While we hope that everyone will respect this privacy, we can never guarantee complete confidentiality in a group setting.  

Respectful Communication:

We ask everyone to be respectful in their disagreement and when speaking to one another.  Students may refer to the University’s Student Code of Conduct.


The event will have automatically generated live captioning.

mental distress event flyer

Danielle Reaume