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Deep Space Mind 215 [DSM.215] is a Philadelphia-based mental health and wellness cooperative that seeks to invest in community-grown practices, systems, and initiatives that improve and enhance the wellness of our city.

This co-op seeks to provide low-barrier pathways for neighbors and workers with lived experience to gain practical skills in providing community care both in the community or within institutions.


Trainings and technical support involving the inclusion and equity of consumers and workers with lived experience are available for larger institutions, systems, and credentialed/connected professionals and students can access practitioners for a fee.

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Who Are We?

dsm.215 co-op Members

Our practitioners are committed to providing trainings, workshops,  technical assistance, and restorative practice to community groups and organizations with goals of increasing equity and justice for those who are system-involved, or who live with mental health challenges and differences.

To access the collective as a whole, please submit a service request HERE.

For an individual practitioner, please click a name below.

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Mel Brown

mel brown

MEL is a community researcher, small group practitioner, and a co-founder of Deep Space Mind 215. Mel has 10+ years of experience working in direct non-profit work and human services within the Philadelphia area. She holds a MSW from University of Pennsylvania School of Social Practice & Policy and a MFA from Weitzman School of Design



General Consulting-

  • Proposal Writing

  • Proposal Review/Feedback 

Non-profit Strategy-

  • Labor/Union Capacity Building


Organization Support-

  • Strategic Planning 

  • Structural Overview of Organization

  • Quality Improvement 

  • Policy Analysis


Small Group Practice


  • Equity/Diversity/Inclusion 

  • Restorative Practices Facilitator/ Circle Keeper


Fees: $100-250/hr (sliding scale available) 

Set up a free consultation meeting HERE

For inquiries click HERE

mel website_edited.png
Rashni Stanford

Rashni stanford

RASHNI  is a licensed social worker, therapist, a certified

peer specialist, sci-fi writer and co-founder of sci-fi collective

Metropolarity, as well as former program director of the

youth-led housing justice collective, Youth Healers Stand Up!

  • Community Project Incubation Support

  • Visioning and Action Planning

  • Lived Experience Inclusion and Empowerment

  • Organizational Workshops and Trainings

  • Group Facilitation

  • Restorative Circle Keeping

  • Mental Health Care Planning

  • Peer Support Groups

  • Narrative Support

For inquiries, click HERE

To submit a service request, click HERE


Marcelline mandeng


MARCELLINE is a visual artist, DJ and archivist exploring the relationship between personal truth and mythology. In the past she’s organized performance and sound based events and has worked with youth from the community by facilitating access to housing related care and emergency services. She’s currently studying sculpture as an MFA candidate at Yale School of Art.

Learn more here.


DSM.215 centers, protects, and nurtures the healing work of those who have been traditionally underserved by the psychiatric/non-profit industrial complex in this city, including Black women and femmes, and queer people, youth, and those who are unhoused.

We are composed of and seek to serve people in Philadelphia with lived experience of mental health challenges, psychiatric institutionalization or incarceration, and/or neurodiversities or  psychiatric disabilities that put one at risk for institutionalization.

DSM.215 builds upon local and justice-centered systems of knowledge, including restorative practices, Afrofuturism, local organizing history, disability justice, and new and ancestral local praxis and practice around mental health.

DSM.215 began as a workshop developed by Ras Stanford in 2015 for the Afrofuturism Now! Festival at WORM Rotterdam. It has since grown into a sustained community-grown project, and in 2020, Mel Brown joined the project to co-found Deep Space Mind 215 Cooperative. In 2021, DSM.215 became a fiscally sponsored program of The Federation of Neighborhood Centers.

Co-founders Ras Stanford and Mel Brown bring both professional and lived experience  in the psychiatric industrial complex. They have integrated their wisdom into an effective community-based practice that centers the expertise of those most affected by the psychiatric industrial complex.

DSM.215 Co-op seeks board members and community partners as we continue building towards sustainability and impact.

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