Hearing Voices Network Cymru was launched in 2001 at the ‘Mind Cymru’ conference in Llandrindod Wells.
Hearing Voices Network Cymru is supported by Hywel Davies.
About Hearing Voices Network Cymru
We offer information, support and understanding to people who hear voices and those who support them.
The hearing of a voice or voices inaudible to others is a relatively common human experience. Triggered by bereavement, illness, unemployment, divorce or some other traumatic event, voice hearing is experienced by 10-15% of the population in their lifetime. 1% of the population are labelled by psychiatry as “schizophrenic”. 1% of the population are labelled by psychiatry as “bipolar”. 53% of people labelled by psychiatry as “schizophrenic” are voice hearers. 2.3% of the general population are voice hearers at any one given moment in time.
To hear a voice or voices inaudible to others does not mean that one is severely mentally ill.
There are Hearing Voices Networks in 23 countries of the world. Countries include Scotland, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. There are 170+ hearing voices groups in England alone.
There are 14 hearing voices groups in Wales.
The aims of the Hearing Voices Network Cymru are five-fold:
- to support a Welsh network of people who hear voices and their allies to better understand the experience alongside workers, families and friends;
- to set up peer support/self-help groups of voice hearers to share experiences and discuss strategies for coping with voices;
- to raise awareness of society about the meaning of voices to reduce ignorance and stigma;
- to develop a range of non-medical ways of assisting people to cope with their voices;
- to share the experience of voice hearers who have not been in contact with psychiatric services with those who have.
If you would like your Hearing Voices peer support/self help group to be listed on this website, please contact us.
The purpose of the Hearing Voices Cymru website is to raise awareness of hearing voices from a variety of perspectives and to state that because one hears voices or a voice inaudible to others does not mean that one is severely mentally ill.
The history of the network
I am from Pembrokeshire and the Pembrokeshire Hearing Voices Group was particularly active between 1996 and 2004. It used to hold monthly meetings in a pub. It used to hold public events. The public events included well-attended public talks by Ron Coleman, Marius Romme and Sandra Escher. Other public events involved Core Arts, Peter Campbell and a karaoke evening in a pub in Haverfordwest attended by 50+ people. Pembrokeshire Hearing Voices Group, in the eight year period, also produced three publications:
- Hearing Voices : An Information Pack
- Hearing and Belonging : The Newsletter Pack 2000
- Mental Health Factfile (in English and Welsh)
Public talks celebrating World Hearing Voices Day have been held annually on three occasions in Withybush Conference Centre in Haverfordwest. With the help of West Wales Action For Mental Health and Pembrokeshire Mind, the cumulative effect of the activities of Pembrokeshire Hearing Voices Group since 1996 is that the published ideas of Coleman, Romme and Escher are now mainstream in mental health services in Pembrokeshire.
What can be done in Pembrokeshire can be done and is being done in other areas of Wales, the UK and elsewhere. As a result of the courage and intelligence of Coleman, Romme and Escher, the hearing voices movement is regarded as an important and humane phenomenon in the world of mental health throughout the world.
On behalf of Hearing Voices Network Cymru, I hope that you like the Hearing Voices Network Cymru website and find the website useful and helpful as a sign-post and as an awareness-raising resource that is positive and clear.
Pob dymuniad da i chi i gyd.
Every good wish to you all, whether you are a voice hearer or someone with an interest in the phenomenon of voice hearing.
Thank you very much to Rudy Peleman and Paul Baker for helping to design and compose this website.
Hywel Davies Chair : Hearing Voices Network Cymru