On Wednesday 25th May 2022 at The Yard Theatre in Hulme, Manchester, we held a meeting to relaunch the Manchester Hearing Voices Network and to develop support for groups and individuals across the North West.
Over 20 people joined us for a reflective and important discussion about rebuilding the hearing voices movement in Manchester.
We showed two films, a short file by Dolly Sens called “Inside” and the film “Beyond Possible: How the Hearing Voices Approach Transforms Lives” a 22-minute film made by Voice Hearers in the USA. It explores what the Hearing Voices approach looks like, how it began, and the ways in which it is expanding our view of what is possible in the lives of people who hear voices, see visions, and/or have other similarly non-consensus-reality-based experiences.
The films were followed by a panel discussion with: Elisabeth Svanholmer, Jess Pons, Ellie Page, Rufus May and Paul Baker.
The Hearing Voices approach was brought to the UK by voice hearers and allies based in Manchester in the 1980’s. Manchester was home to the first peer to peer hearing voices group in the world.
The meeting supported the proposal to re-establish the Network to support existing hearing voices group and to set up more across the City Region.
We will also provide training, raise public awareness and to challenge mental health providers to embed the hearing voices approach into their services.
We also discussed how we will develop the HVN Network over the coming months
The new Manchester Hearing Voice will:
- Raise awareness of the diversity of voices, visions and similar experiences
- Challenge negative stereotypes, stigma and discrimination
- Help create more spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds to talk freely about voice-hearing, visions and similar sensory experiences
- Raise awareness of a range of different ways to manage distressing, confusing or difficult voices
- Encourage a more positive response to voice-hearing and related experiences in healthcare settings and wider society
- Share information and free resources through our website, social media, e-bulletin, newsletter and email information service
- Engage with the media to present realistic and hopeful perspectives on hearing voices and related experiences
- Offer workshops, training and events – subject to resources
- Support members who want to set up a Hearing Voices Group
See information about our weekly online Hearing Voices Support Group here