We are a member of  INTERVOICE, (more information here) the international organisation representing networks in 35 countries across the world.

‘ASYLUM: ACTION AND REACTION’ Conference, Manchester, 28 June 2017, 10.00am to 5.00pm

‘ASYLUM: ACTION AND REACTION’ conference will be held in Manchester on 28 June 2017, 10.00am to 5.00pm. Join us.

The updated programme for the day is here.

This will be a very special event, a day conference in Manchester to celebrate over thirty years of ASYLUM: International Magazine of Democratic Psychiatry. It will be held in the University of Manchester on Wednesday 28 June 2017. It will be an all-day low-cost conference, with a lower rate for subscribers to Asylum Magazine which will cover refreshments on the day. The theme of the day will be ‘Action and Reaction’, and we have in mind by that title a range of possible meanings, which include the kind of political action we need to build to defend our rights and build better services, and the struggle against reactionary attacks on mental health provision, and we have mind the kind of action that we collectively take and responses to what Asylum has been doing so far.

We have a full programme for the Asylum conference, but still welcome posters for the day which will be in the main foyer for the conference, and we welcome stalls and literature, please contact

The low registration charge for the conference will just cover the costs for the day. We are asking you to come to Manchester to be with us and many other activists, survivors and their allies. This will be a chance to take stock and discuss what we do next, and to share action about the many different kinds of networks you are involved in, to build those networks together.

Please let us know about any dietary requirements. The cost of registration will cover refreshments and lunches.

We have space in the University of Manchester booked for the event, and this means that we will limit numbers attending. Please register sooner rather than later to secure a place at the conference.

IN THE EVENING: 18.00- late: Asylum 30 years celebration – This event is free and open to everyone attending the conference

It is organised by Alex Dunedin of the Ragged University at Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street,Manchester, M4 1LW  (a large venue in the city centre with free food and drink and music)

Support us with a donation for the event at the crowd-funding link here!

Asylum website is at:

Facebook event page is at:

Tickets: (available to buy up until 27.06.17)

Ultimate Hearing Voices Training 3 Day Course, Sydney, Australia

Wednesday 27th – Friday 29th September 2017
‘Hearing Voices’ is a term used to represent the experience of what is also called ‘auditory hallucinations’, or hearing things that other people cannot. ‘Hearing Voices’ can also be related to the experiences of seeing visions, sensing things and beliefs that others may find unusual.

Many people hear voices and find them helpful, sacred or just a normal part of life. Some people find voices confusing or frightening and seek help to cope. These people are commonly diagnosed with schizophrenia or another mental illness.

During this 3 day workshop Voices Vic will be combining their 2 most successful courses to create 1 ultimate Hearing Voices training!

For more information go here

Historic Articles by Hywel Davies on humanity, spirituality and the challenge to 20th century traditional western psychiatry

In 1995 Hywel published an article in Asylum, The Magazine for Democratic Psychiatry entitled “What is Needed is a Revolution” and in 1997 he published an article for the mental health magazine Breakthrough entitled “In Time of Change”. Click on the titles to read the articles.

Community Screening CRAZYWISE, Brecon, Wales, 21st June 2017

What if a psychological crisis was seen as having  the potential to be a positive transformative experience, instead of a “broken brain”?

Come to Screening in Brecon, Wales, 21st June 2017


This true documentary follows the lives of two young people as they undergo a severe Mental Illness Crisis that changes and transforms their lives. Made by US Human Rights Photographer and Filmmaker Phil Borges and his colleague Kevin Tomlinson, explores alternative spiritual routes of healing, giving a fresh perspective to an age old issue in a modern world.

This is a must see’ for anyone with lived experience of Mental Health Crisis and their families and offers a fresh multidimensional perspective for all who work as Mental Health treatment and support providers from NHS; other statutory and voluntary bodies including Holistic Health providers.

The viewing will be followed by an ‘Open Space’ discussion in small safe groups with facilitators on hand.

This event raises awareness of Spiritual and Shamanic Perspectives to Mental Health


Wed 21 June 2017

09:30 – 16:00 BST

Add to Calendar







Register to attend here.

See poster for the Event schedule here

For further information contact Avril at

Tel: 01874 711677

International Mental Health Congress, Cardiff, 18 – 19 July 2017

International Mental Health Congress

 18 & 19 July 2017 | All Nations Centre, Cardiff

Join us for two inspiring days at our International Mental Health Congress. Partnering with the IMHCN we have designed an agenda which explores the ‘whole person, whole life, whole systems’ approach to mental health. This will be a significant event bringing together experts on the Whole Life-Whole Systems approach from Wales, England and the international community. We have representatives joining us from Australia, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Ireland and Malaysia. There will be many opportunities to take part in plenary sessions, participatory masterclasses and network with professionals.

As always, our events are free to attend.  For additional information or booking assistance, please contact or call 02920 104 376.

 We have an exciting two day event programme planned for you.

 Keynote speakers include:

  • Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport
  • Roberto Mezzina, Director, MH Department/ WHOCC of Trieste, Italy
  • Michael Holland, Medical Director, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • Norhameza Ahmad Badruddin, Clinical Psychologist, Permai Hospital, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

A Wake for Blake: A special evening to raise money for a memorial for William Blake.

A very special evening to raise money for a memorial for the poet and artist William Blake.

Blake claimed to experience visions throughout his life. They were often associated with beautiful religious themes and imagery, and therefore may have inspired him further with spiritual works and pursuits. Certainly, religious concepts and imagery figure centrally in Blake’s works. God and Christianity constituted the intellectual centre of his writings, from which he drew inspiration. In addition, Blake believed that he was personally instructed and encouraged by Archangels to create his artistic works, which he claimed were actively read and enjoyed by those same Archangels.

Read more about Blake here.

Monday 25th September 2017 at 7.30pm
Leicester Square Theatre, London



– More To Be Announced –

The exact location of Blake’s resting place was only re-discovered in recent years after detailed research by two committee members of the Blake Society, Carol and Luis Garrido.  This event, featuring some of the UK’s most thrilling maverick performers, is to raise funds towards a fitting marker to identify Blake’s grave in Bunhill Fields Burial Ground.


To be assured of tickets, book within this exclusive booking period  from 10am Wednesday 31st May until 10am Friday June 2nd.

Book online at :
or by calling 0207 734 2222
or in person at the box office

9th World Hearing Voices Congress 2017: Book your place at the Congress

August 16-18, 2017

Boston University, Boston, MA, USA

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More infomation here.

Hearing Voices Network Cymru Newsletter

The latest edition of the is available. In this edition you will find information about:

  • Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor from Working To Recovery are running a number of one-day workshops across the UK including Bangor, Swansea and Cardiff. 10 free places on each day for voice hearers sponsored by HVN Cymru
  • “Can’t You Hear Them?” A new book by Simon McCarthy-Jones about hearing voices and science
  • The BBC Horizon programme “Why Did I Go Mad?” featuring members of the Hearing Voices Movement
  • Pembrokeshire Hearing Voices Group commissions radio advertisement
  • The forthcoming 2017 World Hearing Voices Congress to be held in August in Boston
  • The Recovery Summer Camp
  • New Film Documentaries: Why Did I Go Mad?, CrazyWise and Healing Voices

You can read our newsletter here.

Do you hear voices?: 30-second advertisement broadcast on Radio Pembrokeshire

The Pembrokeshire Hearing Voices Group has recently placed the following 30-second advertisement to be broadcast from time to time on Radio Pembrokeshire in South-West Wales from Friday, March 17th for several months.

“Do you hear voices?

Voices from inside your head or from outside your head that others cannot hear?

You are not alone.

Hearing voices is a common human experience.

You are not crazy. But the experience may be upsetting and frightening. If it is, you are welcome to join us.

We are the Pembrokeshire Hearing Voices Group.

A friendly space where you can share your experience with other people who hear voices.

We meet monthly in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Would you join us?

For more information contact John on 07968 238 218 or visit our website”

You can listen to our advertisement here:

Why Did I Go Mad? Canon Angela Tilby, Thought For The Day, BBC Radio 4

“Good morning.

Why Did I go Mad? was the arresting title of Tuesday’s night’s Horizon programme in which three people with psychosis spoke frankly about their illness. Paranoia, hallucinations, hearing voices – not so long ago it would have been unthinkable to have sufferers describing these to a television audience; we saw one of them shrinking from a spiky crab-like monster which appeared at his table as he sat in a coffee shop; another drew her persecuting voices as tree-like horrors who constantly threatened her with violence.

I thought of the poignant incident in the New Testament where a tormented man was asked his name and replied, ‘Legion’ explaining ‘for we are many’. Ancient cultures knew how mental illness can fragment the personality.

What was remarkable about the programme was the way it brought together two approaches to psychosis which have often been in conflict. The strictly medical way has been to treat it as an organic disease. The current theory is that too much of the brain chemical dopamine can trigger it, though there are genetic and social aspects as well. But there has always been an alternative approach, closer perhaps to a pre-scientific understanding, that asks: What are the voices saying; what do the monsters signify? It’s an issue of how to define truth. In the 1960s the counter-cultural psychiatrist R.D. Laing hailed schizophrenics as prophets, while others insisted that patients should be told firmly that they could never be cured until they accepted that their voices and visions were unreal. Both sides accused the other of harming patients; either by refusing to recognise the seriousness of their suffering or by refusing to see meaning in their symptoms. In the programme we saw one sufferer’s medicine chest with its box of proven anti-psychotic drugs; but we also heard of gentler interventions; of the Hearing Voices network which supports people who experience voices.

Treating our bodies as machines works well for many illnesses; the whole person gets better as the mechanism is mended. But mental illness doesn’t always follow this pattern. Psychosis seems to open an underground chasm in the self; what spills out may be terrible and destructive or potentially valuable. One of the voice hearers in the Horizon programme said, quite casually, that she now realised that her voices were simply a part of herself. Another was shown starting a dialogue with one of her persecuting voices. For some there is clearly a point in trying to find meaning in madness. When I look at the healings Jesus performed in the New Testament; mind, body and meaning were all involved.

Perhaps mental health is beginning to heal some of the splits in its own thinking and to recognise the key place metaphor and symbol play in human health. We no longer shut the mentally ill away from society. In mental illness truth is more than fact or fiction.”

You can listen to the broadcast here

Canon Angela Tilby, Thought For The Day, BBC Radio 4, 04/05/17

“Can’t You Hear Them? The Science and Significance of Hearing Voices” : Important New book

The experience of ‘hearing voices’, once associated with lofty prophetic communications, has fallen low. Today, the experience is typically portrayed as an unambiguous harbinger of madness caused by a broken brain, an unbalanced mind, biology gone wild. Yet an alternative account, forged predominantly by people who hear voices themselves, argues that hearing voices is an understandable response to traumatic life-events. There is an urgent need to overcome the tensions between these two ways of understanding ‘voice hearing’. Simon McCarthy-Jones considers neuroscience, genetics, religion, history, politics and not least the experiences of many voice hearers themselves. This enables him to challenge established and seemingly contradictory understandings and to create a joined-up explanation of voice hearing that is based on evidence rather than ideology.
“An engaging enquiry into the psychology and neuroscience of voice hearing that explores hallucinated voices in all their fascinating forms.” Vaughan Bell, University College London, UK

“A remarkable book about voice-hearing,which provides an accessible account of the science,but does not lose track of the meaning of the experience. It is compassionate, controversial and compelling.” Chris Cook, Professor of Spirituality, Theology and Health at Durham University, UK

“On finishing this book my initial instinct was to re-read it in order to appreciate its insights for a second time, Can’t You Hear Them? is not only a work of impressive scholarship but a compelling, beautifully-written story of human experience and endeavour.” Dr. Eleanor Longden, Psychosis Research Unit, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust,UK

“With rigorous science, penetrating analyses, colourful and enjoyable prose, and an astonishing breadth of knowledge – Simon McCarthy-Jones has delivered a book that will undeniably be appreciated by many.”Frank Laroi, University of Bergen, Norway and University of Liege, Belgium

“A brilliant and thoughtful travel into the complex experience of hearing voices. Superbly written,with intelligence, but also a delightful sense of humour, this book will become an indispensable addition to the bookshelves of clinicians, scientists and people who hear voices.” Renaud Jardri, MD, PhD, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Lille, France

“Can’t You Hear Them ? The Science and Significance of Hearing Voices” is an excellent, important, intellectually mature and beautifully written book about voice hearing and science. It is not without humour. Simon McCarthy-Jones is a courageous and able researcher and communicator who rightly deserves significant success and recognition as a writer and academic in the field of health and progress.” Hywel Davies, Chairman : Hearing Voices Network Cymru, Wales

More information on how to purchase here.

Social and biographical approaches to voice hearing – a lived experience perspective

Lancaster Academy for Advanced Social Work

13th & 14th July 2017

Designed for professionals who are working in mental health and psychiatric services.

This workshop is facilitated by Peter Bullimore and Kate Crawford, two people with experience of voice hearing who are highly experienced in delivering training on this topic.

You can find out more about the course here.

Two simple questions that have changed the way people hear inner voices

Once the province of prophets, “hearing voices” is still shorthand for madness. And yet in the past 30 years, a new understanding has been created by voice-hearers themselves, as part of the Hearing Voices Movement. This suggests that uncovering the roots of the voice can potentially help the hearer.

Article by Simon McCarthy-Jones, Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology, Trinity College Dublin, published by The Conversation, 3rd May, 2017. Read it in full here.

The Voices In Our Heads: Why do people talk to themselves, and when does it become a problem?

Review in The New Yorker of “The Voices Within”  written by Charles Fernyhough, a British professor of psychology at Durham University, England.

Read the full article here.

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