Hearing Voices Group and Network

See our video about the group

Do you hear voices?

Although it is estimated that 5-28% of people experience voices, negative community attitudes and stereotypes result in feelings of shame, fear of being ‘different’, and experiences of stigma, and staying silent about hearing voices can lead to isolation, loss of social support, and distress.

Our peer to peer group provides a safe space for people who hear voices to share their experiences within a supportive community.

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Welcome to our Hearing Voices Group

Before Covid – 19 lock down we used to have a Hearing Voices and Unusual Experiences Group meeting on Wednesdays at 14.00 at Niamos.

Since the beginning of April 2020 we have been running the group online and meet on Zoom, every Thursday at 15.00.

The Group is a space where we can share our experiences and benefit from the support we can offer each other.

Although meeting online is not the same as meeting in a room together, it does have other advantages such as not having to travel to the meeting!

If you would like to join or find out more contact us here

Here are some useful links and resources that you may find helpful:

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Newsletter

National Paranoia Network Summer Newsletter 2020: With articles about personal experiences (including from Grainne Breene and Kate Crawford from our group); stress busters and relaxation exercises etc, go here to see the newsletter

Links
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Hearing Voices England Website of the English Hearing Voices Network. One of many similar networks around the world. If you’re looking for support in your own country check out Intervoice’s National Network list. The USA network can be found here: HVN USA

Intervoice Working across the world to spread positive and hopeful messages about the experience of hearing voices. If you hear voices, know someone who does or want to find out more about this experience – then this site is for you.

Understanding Voices a website that will make it easier for you to find information about different approaches to voice-hearing and ways of supporting those who are struggling with the voices that they hear.

National Paranoia Network a voluntary organisation established to support people who express paranoia and unusual beliefs. The organisation is run by people with self experience of paranoia and hearing voices.

Coping Strategies

Strategies for coping with voices:  Download Sheet The sheet lists suggestions for coping with the experiences of hearing voices, and seeing visions and having tactile sensations. It is hoped some of these ideas can help you, or someone you care about, towards living positively with these experiences and to maintain a sense of ownership over them. Remember that you are not alone: Research shows that 4% of people hear voices, this is the same number as have asthma. Voice hearers throughout history have included a great many influential people: religious prophets, doctors and psychologists, philosophers, artists, poets, explorers and politicians. This list was compiled by the Manchester Hearing Voices Group.

Strategies for Coping with Distressing Voices: Hearing Voices Network Australia Download Sheet A list of ideas for coping with difficult voices compiled by people who hear voices from the national network in Australia.

Whilst every person who hears voices is different, and finds different strategies useful, we hope this might give you some ideas to work with.

Better Sleep for Voice Hearers York Hearing Voices Group Download Sleep Booklet Many voice hearers report problems sleeping. Poor sleep can mean not being able to fall asleep in the first place, waking during the night, waking up too early or not feeling refreshed on waking. It is common for voice hearers to report that their voices are worse at night, and that the night time means they cannot use their usual coping strategies such as going for a walk. People are also often alone at night, lacking distraction, and in trying to unwind for the night, their lack of occupation may bring on their voices. This booklet, written by voice-hearers for voice-hearers, provides some tips and guidance on how people manage difficulties sleeping because of voices, visions or intrusive thoughts.

Young People

Voices & Visions #1: A straight talking introduction for parents and carers of children and young people who hear voices Voice Collective, 2012  Download Booklet No. 1 A pdf booklet aimed at parents/supporters, but also suitable for anyone else who wants to understand a bit more about voices and visions. Includes an overview of the range of experiences people can have, how this can affect them and basic tips on how to speak with your child about them.

Voices & Visions #2: A guide to coping and recovery for parents and carers of children and young people who hear voices Voice Collective, 2012  Download Booklet No. 2 A pdf booklet aimed at parents/supporters, but also suitable for anyone else who wants to understand more about how young people can learn to cope with difficult voices and visions. Includes a range of strategies, including finding safety, expressing yourself and taking the power back.

Useful Reports

Understanding Psychosis & Schizophrenia: British Psychological Society, 2014 (Updated 2017) Download BPS Report Published by the British Psychological Society, this booklet presents “an overview of the current state of knowledge in the field, concluding that psychosis can be understood and treated in the same way as other psychological problems such as anxiety or shyness”. Read more about the report here

Power Threat Meaning Framework Johnstone, L. & Boyle, M. (2018) Download PTMF Overview Published by the British Psychological Society, this document is an overview of the PTM framework. Drawing upon a variety of models, practices and philosophical traditions, its aim is to inform and expand existing approaches by offering a fundamentally different perspective on the origins, experience and expression of emotional distress and troubled or troubling behaviour. It is the result of a working group consisting of people with, and without, experience of psychiatric diagnosis. Read more about the publication/project here

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