News

Compassionate Mental Health – Building Compassionate Communities 30 to 31 March, Cardiff, UK

Compassionate Mental Health – Building Compassionate Communities is a two day experiential event designed to inform, inspire and empower people living and working with mental distress.

To book your place go here.


They are bringing together people and families with personal experience of mental distress, Third Sector staff, policymakers, front-line staff, managers, clinicians, GPS and academics – to ask how we can build compassionate communities in our mental health services and our own lives.

The influential speakers and facilitators are passionate about changing the script around mental health, challenging stigma and raising expectations. All involved are already influencing change in their field. They’ll introduce and discuss a range of psychosocial approaches that move beyond a disease model of mental health, with a special focus on Open Dialogue, mindfulness, voice dialogue and therapeutic communities.

The two-day programme offers an exciting mix of plenary sessions and workshops to exchange ideas, lessons learned and best practices – with plenty of opportunities for participation, reflection and networking.

The event is Sponsored by GOFAL and the Moondance Foundation

ISPS-US Live Webinar: Shamanic Spiritual Emergencies: The dialectic of distress and spirituality

Join ISPS-US for Shamanic Spiritual Emergencies: The dialectic of distress and spirituality – a live webinar with Dr. Ingo Lambrecht, April 6, 2017, 3 PM EST

For details on how to participate click here.


What is the relationship between distress and confusion that gets called “psychosis” and the states of consciousness that might be described as shamanic or spiritual?

To explore this, we will be hearing from Ingo Lambrecht, who has some real perspective on this based on his having experienced shamanic training as well as working as a clinical psychologist specializing in psychosis.

You can register at spiritualityanddistress.eventbrite.com. There will be time for participants to ask questions.


Here are more details about this event:

Shamanic Spiritual Emergencies: the dialectic of distress and spirituality
Throughout shamanic history, extreme states have been configured in relation to states of distress and spirituality. It is however not clear to what extent these states are separated, the same or if integration is at all possible.

In this presentation the aim is to explore the different positions possible when faced with psychotic distress and spirituality. It will draw on the presenter’s experiences during his shamanic training. It will consider some indigenous and current models and interventions of spiritual emergencies.

Dr. Ingo Lambrecht is a consultant clinical psychologist working at Manawanui, Māori Mental Health Service in Auckland, New Zealand. His special interests include children and adolescents, psychosis and personality issues, as well as trauma and mindfulness. He has also written on the cultural-clinical interface through clinical and psychoanalytic work in different cultural settings, and was privileged to undergo an intense shamanic training as a sangoma, a South African traditional healer. In addition to his recent book, Sangoma Trance States (AM Publishing, 2014), he has contributed articles and chapters on the relationships between culture, psychosis, and spirituality, presenting at national and international conferences on these themes.

ISPS-US online meetings/webinars are free to ISPS members, with a donation of $5-$20 requested from others, though no one turned away for lack of funds. Please do register if you want to attend!

Call for Proposals! 9th World Hearing Voices Congress – A Revolution of Unseen Voices

Dedicated to the voices that we cannot see, to those who’ve not yet had space to be heard or discovered, and to gathering our collective strength to push back against those forces that have historically drowned us out.

Hearing Voices USA is proud to present the 9th World Hearing Voices Congress: A Revolution of Unseen Voices. The Congress will be held August 16 to August 18, 2017 at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

The Voices Congress is a time for us to come together from across the world—those who hear voices, see visions, and experience other unusual phenomenon, as well as those who wish to learn from us and those with whom we choose to ally. It is a space to connect, to gain strength, to share knowledge, and to push and stretch the boundaries of our understanding. Together, we are not alone.

As we seek to create this space—both restorative and empowering– we reach out to you to help us make it real. We are currently seeking proposals (20, 60, or 90 minutes in length) from individuals across the world. A variety of perspectives and topics are welcome, but proposals that include interactive components and/or focus directly on the experiences of voice hearing, visions, unique beliefs, and negotiating alternate realities (including how this movement might intersect with other liberation movements) will be prioritized.

We also welcome proposals for creating offerings like music. This form can be used for those, as well.

To fill out the Call for Proposals on-line, click HERE.

For a printable version of the Call for Proposals, click HERE.

Proposals are due by 5pm/17:00 Eastern Daylight Savings Time (GMT-4) on April 3, 2017

First National Poet of Wales to give Masterclass on writing and mental health

The inaugural National Poet of Wales Gwyneth Lewis will give a masterclass on writing and mental health at Aberystwyth University on Thursday 16 March.

The session, which is open to members of the public, has been organised at the request of students at the University’s Department of English and Creative Writing and takes place in the Old College starting at 6.30pm.

Gwyneth Lewis was appointed Wales’ first National Poet for 2005-06, and was responsible for composing the six-foot-high words on the front of the Wales Millennium Centre.

Currently 2016 Robert Frost Professor of Literature at the Breadloaf School of English, she has published six books of poetry in Welsh and English.

See more here

“In The Real”, Hearing Voices Documentary Film Screening and Discussion, 23 March 2017, 7pm – 8.30pm

For the past 3 years, filmmaker and psychoanalyst Conor McCormack has documented the Bristol Hearing Voices Network – a self-help group for people who hear voices and have other unusual experiences.

The result of this collaboration is In the Real, a 59 min observational documentary film which goes right to the heart of the voice-hearing experience. Who, or what, are the voices that only these men can hear? What do they say and what do they mean? And how does hearing voices transform their sense of self and world?
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Conor McCormack (filmmaker), Don and Errol (Bristol Hearing Voices Network), and Angela Woods (Co-Director of Hearing the Voice).

See more here.

February 2017 edition of the Hearing Voices Network Cymru Newsletter

See the February 2017 edition of the Hearing Voices Network Cymru Newsletter  here.

2017 is the 30th anniversary of the hearing voices movement. The movement has achieved much in its 30 year history and thanks to the hearing voices approach, hundreds possibly thousands of people tormented by voices in Wales and the world are recovering in a positive and emancipatory manner. Read more about our work in our newsletter. You can sign up for your copy on the home page.

Researcher Acknowledges His Mistakes in Understanding Schizophrenia

In a new article, published in Schizophrenia Bulletin, psychiatrist Sir Robin Murray reflects on the history of ‘schizophrenia’ research and mistakes made. Murray, a professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience in London, states that he ignored social factors that contribute to ‘schizophrenia’ for too long. He also reports that he neglected the negative effects antipsychotic medication has on the brain. Murray states:

“Amazingly, such is the power of the Kraepelinian model that some psychiatrists still refuse to accept the evidence, and cling to the nihilistic view that there exists an intrinsically progressive schizophrenic process, a view greatly to the detriment of their patients.”

Read the full article at Mad in America here

Milford Haven Meeting

 

Hywel Davies and John Stacey, IMHCN members support a group for people who hear voices in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, Wales. In this article they describe how the group operates, the successful outscomes and the implications for mental health services.

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Milford Haven Group viewing the film “Healing Voices”

As a group of friends we set up a hearing voices group initially facilitated by John Stacey “IMHCN” and Hywel Davies “Hearing Voices Cymru”.

What started off as a group of voice hearers getting together rapidly evolved into a group of people that hear voices, have visions or have other experiences that others may find difficult to accept or understand. As one of the group stated recently “Its not like any other group we are just individuals that meet to give support and encouragement to one another”.

The meetings have no formal structure and are founded on acceptance, learning, recovery and discovery. The emphasis of the group is not to challenge or change individuals beliefs or understanding of their experiences. Though these may change over time. The main focus is to assist one another to create a different relationship and response to our experiences. Enabling us to be comfortable with whom we are and take back control of our lives.

Having unrestricted access to John allowing members to contact him if they have feelings of concern is recognised as a reassuring asset to the members. This support has reduced the need for some of the group from contacting emergency services. Over the past two years this has not been abused and as one person stated “its reassuring just know I have somebody who understands to call”.

In this social and trusting environment people state that they are not inhibited in their disclosures to one another. During our conversations individuals feel able to explore the appropriateness of their diagnosis also the effectiveness and dose of their medication. We feel it is important to discuss how to involve their mental health workers and psychiatrists in these conversations.

The group is now exploring how it can develop, provide and extend what we are doing to enable more opportunities, encompassing their whole lives.

The success of the group raises questions about how mental health services are often failing to provide time and space for people and to develop reciprocal trusting relationships and support.

John Stacey and Hywel Davies

Near Death Experiences

Go here to view to two newly added video presentations by Becki Hawkins and Laurin Bellg about near death experiences.

New Poetry

Hywel Davies has added two new poems to our Poetry Page. See the new poems here.