Simon Adam

Associate Professor

Interim Graduate Program Director

Locations / Contact Info:

350 Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies - HNES
Keele Campus

Email address(es):

Web site(s):

Crazy Making Podcast
Madness Canada
Witness: The Canadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse

Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - School of Nursing


PhD - 2017
University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

MA - 2011
University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

BScN - 2006
Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University)
Toronto, Canada


Simon Adam is a critical social scientist. His program of scholarship focuses on mental health--its various institutional and discursive dimensions, the consumer/survivor/mad experience, and alternative and counter-hegemonic ways of conceptualizing mental illness, suffering, and crisis. His work considers what is currently termed 'mental illness' as largely a product of social, economic, and political apparatuses, while examining how medicalization pathologizes what is often known as 'the human condition.' Simon works with various communities, including psychiatric survivors and psychiatric consumers/survivors, the mad community, and neurodivergent people.


Areas of Interest:

  • Psychiatric survivroship & Mad studies
  • Critical theory, critical posthumanism, neomaterialism
  • Qualitative/post-qualitative methods/arts-informed methods

Selected Publications



Meijer, P., Ford-Jones, P., Carter, D., Duhaney, P., Adam, S., Pomeroy, P., & Thompson, S. (2024). Examining an alternate care pathway for mental health and addiction prehospital emergencies in Ontario, Canada: A critical analysisInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health21(2), 146-160.

Holmes, D., Turcotte, P-L., Adam, S., Johansson, J., & Orser, L. (2023). Toward an ontology of the mutant in the health sciences: Re/defining the person from Cronenberg’s perspectiveNursing Inquiry, 31(1).

Adam, S., Gold, E., & Tsui, J.* (2023). Critical ethnography and it others: Entanglement of matter/meaning/madnessNursing Inquiry31(1).

Tsui, J.* & Adam, S. (2023). Resilience in nursing education: An evolutionary concept analysisInternational Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 20(1).

Davies, A. W., Watson, D., Armstrong, B., Spring, L., Brewer, K. C., Shay, B., Purnell, A, & Adam, S. (2022). Exploring Histories of ECEC to reconceptualize “normalcy” through mad studies: A critical proposition for early childhood education and care post-secondary programseceLINK6(2), 21-39.

Adam, S., Jiang, C.*, Mikhail, M., & Juergensen, L. (2022).  Infrahuman madness: Mental health nursing and the discursive production of alterityNursing Inquiry, 31(1).

Adam, S., Gold, E., & Burstow, B. (2022). From subjective opinion to medical fact: A critical discourse analysis of mental health nursing educationIssues in Mental Health Nursing, 44(1), 55-63.

Adam, S., Juergensen, L., & Mallette, C. (2021). Harnessing the power to bridge different worlds: An introduction to posthumanism as a philosophical perspective for the disciplineNursing Philosophy, 00, e12362.

Johnson, S.*, Adam, S., & McIntosh, M. (2020). The lived experience of postpartum depression: A review of the literatureIssues in Mental Health Nursing.

van Daalen-Smith, C., Adam, S., Santerre, F., & Hassim, F. (2019). A world of indifference: Canadian women’s experiences of psychiatric hospitalizationIssues in Mental Health Nursing.

Adam, S.& Juergensen, L. (2019). Toward critical thinking as a virtue: The case of mental health nursing educationNurse Education in Practice38, 138-144.

Adam, S., van Daalen-Smith, C., & Juergensen, L. (2019). The indispensability of critique: Reflections on bearing witness to mental health discourseCanadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse1(1), 39-48.

Adam, S. (2017). Crazy making: The institutional relations of undergraduate nursing in the reproduction of biomedical psychiatryInternational Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship14(1).

van Daalen-Smith, C., Adam, S., Breggin, P. & LeFrançois, B. (2014). The utmost discretion: How presumed prudence leaves children susceptible to electroshockChildren & Society, 28, 205-217.


Adam, S. & Jiang, C.* (2022). Identity, inclusion, and society. In W. Austin, D. Kunyk, C. Peternelj-Taylor, & M. A. Boyd (Eds.), Psychiatric & mental health nursing for Canadian practice, (5th ed.) (pp. 29-41). Wolters Kluwer.

Burstow, B. & Adam, S. (2016). Stopping CAMH: An Activist IE Inquiry. In B. Burstow (Ed.), Psychiatry interrogated: An institutional ethnography anthology, (pp. 21-40). Palgrave.

Adam, S. (2014). From subservience to resistance: Nursing versus psychiatry. In B. Burstow, B. LeFrançois, & S. Diamond (Eds.), Psychiatry disrupted: Theorizing resistance and crafting the (r)evolution, (pp. 65-76). McGill-Queens University Press.



Posthumanism Research Institute (Brock University)


Krasman Centre
Principal Investigator


Dean's award for excellence in teaching, Trent University - 2018


Currently available to supervise graduate students: Yes

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers: Yes

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: No

Current Research

Research Projects

Demedicalizing Madness: Diversifying the Understanding of Mental Health with Voices of Survivors
This project is a critical interrogation of mental health nursing education discourse. By way of working with psychiatric survivors to critique dominant discursive (textual-based) practices in mental health nursing education, tensions and contradictions will be elucidated and recommendations for a survivor-centric practice can likewise be made. This is an institutional ethnography with critical discourse analysis embedded during the interview phase of the project.
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $38,520
Year Funded: 2021
Duration: 1
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Developing a Best Practice Model for Mental Health Crisis Care: A Community-Engaged Approach
This community-based project examines models of mental health crisis responses and compares them across the community and the acute care sectors in Ontario. The goal is to develop a best practice model to guide a unified and client-centric response to mental health emergencies and crises in the community.
Role: Collaborator
Amount funded: $360,000
Year Funded: 2021
Duration: 3
Funded by: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

Entangled Identities: Exploring Neurodiversity Through Social Media Expression
This project examines the development of neurodivergent identities by studying social media discourse. Tensions/overlaps between understandings of neurodiversity by mental health professionals and neurodivergent-identified individuals will also be examined. The project uses critical discourse analysis as its main methodology, framed by critical posthuman theory.
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $103,553
Year Funded: 2023
Duration: 2
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

History in Practice: An Online Resource for Enacting Consumer/Survivor-led Mental Health Education
This project is an interdisciplinary pan-university initiative designed for campus-wide impact, with collaborators from 10 departments/programs. History in Practice/Histoire en TĂȘte (HiP/HeT) is an open access consumer/survivor-informed mental health resource for teaching, learning, and knowledge sharing for future health practitioners and humanities and social science students.
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $47,400
Year Funded: 2020
Duration: 1
Funded by: York University

Postpartum Depression: A Critical Phenomenology
This project critically examines the diagnosis of postpartum depression by working with critical women diagnosed with the disorder and interrogating historical and contemporary discourses that gave rise to its development.
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $10,000
Year Funded: 2020
Duration: 1
Funded by: York University