The magazine, Phoenix Rising, was originally proposed by Carla McKague and Don Weitz and unanimously adopted by the first editorial collective in Toronto in 1980.
The Phoenix is one of the great birds in Greek mythology. Every 100 years, the Phoenix sets fire to its nest and rises again from the ashes. The caption "through the fire" appeared directly beneath the Phoenix on the inside Table of Contents page in many issues. A special section titled "Out of the Ashes" first appeared in a special double issue on April 1984 (vol/3 no.3/4) and continued appearing until 1989. The chief purpose of "Out of the Ashes" was to "feature poems prose, graphics photographs – writing or artistry of any kind by anyone who has been psychiatrized."
A photo of the Phoenix appeared in every issue until the last, double issue on gays and lesbians published in July 1990. This final issue featured personal stories, drawings and other art by gay and lesbian psychiatric survivors. The cover subtitle on the first four issues read, "The Outspoken Voice of Psychiatric Inmates." The cover subtitle "The Voice of the Psychiatrized" appeared on all other issues of the magazine.
Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto Mission Statement
The Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto is dedicated to ensuring that the rich history of people who have experienced the psychiatric system is preserved for our community and the wider community as a resource from which everyone can share and learn.
The Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto began meeting regularly beginning in January 2001. We are a group of volunteers working together to preserve the rich history of people who have experienced the psychiatric system.
PSAT is a grass roots organization that is run for and by psychiatric survivors to preserve all aspects of our history. The Archives seeks to reflect the broad diversity of views that are expressed by all people with a psychiatric history however they choose to self-identify.
The emphasis of our archives will be on a critical perspective including anti-psychiatry that is primarily produced by psychiatric survivors whether institutionalized or in the community. First person expression in all media formats on this topic are particularly welcome. The need for these archives has grown out of a recognition that our history has too often been ignored or trivialized by main stream historians, researchers and medical professionals.
PSAT is constantly evolving as we develop, so please watch for future developments in the months and years ahead.