The Messenger

by Frances Smith

I created a mythological being inspired by the Greek god Hermes. The reason behind this choice is that, in Greek mythology, Hermes is essentially a messenger. Similarly, people running Madness Network News were messengers, informing and connecting psychiatric survivors, activists, and Mad people. Hence, this mythological being wears Hermes’ winged helmet. To pay homage to the fact that two women started this newsletter, this mythological being is also depicted as a woman. She holds a copy of the newsletter in her left hand close to her chest, representing the newsletter, and instead of Hermes’s caduceus (the symbol for medicine) she holds a sign in her right hand that says “Stop Forced Drugging” (taken from language used in a drawing on a volume of the newsletter) to represent the protests and conferences that Madness Network News was a part of. She also is wearing 70’s inspired apparel to represent the time period the newsletter began. Lastly, this mythological being wears a sash that reads “ex-patient” to represent who the newsletter was created by and for and also to evoke a sense of celebration in the state of being free from forced psychiatric care.

Created in response to Madness Network News, a newsletter run by psychiatric survivors, founded in 1972.

Image Description: A woman with black curly hair and winged helmet running in mid-air. She holds a newsletter in her left hand and a small sign that says “Stop Forced Drugging” in her right hand.