Simon Adam

Assistant Professor

Locations / Contact Info:

350 Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies - HNES
Keele Campus

Email address(es):

Web site(s):

Crazy Making
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
Ryerson University
Toronto, Canada


Simon Adam is a social scientist in nursing. His program of scholarship focuses on the mental health industry, its various institutional and discursive dimensions, the consumer/survivor/mad experience, and alternative and counter-hegemonic ways of conceptualizing human 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 education, professionalization, and pop culture reproduce a medicalized way of understanding what is otherwise a normal human condition. Simon works with various communities, including psychiatric survivors and psychiatric consumers, mad people, neurodiverse people, and people who use drugs.


Areas of Interest:

  • Psychiatric survivroship & Mad studies
  • Social movements (mental health)
  • (Post)identity & identity politics
  • Critical theory, posthumanism, object-oriented ontology
  • Qualitative/post-qualitative methods

Selected Publications

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

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

Adam, S.& Juergensen, L. (2019). Toward critical thinking as a virtue: The case of mental health nursing education. Nurse 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 discourse. Canadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse1(1), 39-48.

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

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.

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

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.



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: No

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: No

Current Research

Research Projects

HiP/HeT: 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 Tête (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

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

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