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She died, went to hell and heaven, then woke up at the morgue

Testimony from Paulina who shares about when she died in a bus accident and went to hell, then to heaven, had an encounter with Jesus and then woke up at the morgue.

You Say

Lauren Daigle

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, You say I am Yours
And I believe, I believe
What You say of me
I believe

You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, You say I am Yours
And I believe, I believe
What You say of me
I believe

The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, You say I am Yours
And I believe, I believe
What You say of me
I believe

Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure, God
You’ll have every victory

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, You say I am Yours
And I believe, I believe
What You say of me
I believe

Oh, I believe
Yes, I believe
What You say of me
Oh, I believe

The mind unravelling

The Mind Unravelling, Start The Week. BBC Radio 4

How far does evolution explain mental health? The psychiatrist Randolph Nesse tells Kirsty Wark that negative emotions make sense in certain situations but can become excessive. He argues that positioning disorders in light of natural selection helps explain the ubiquity of human suffering – and may help in finding new paths for relieving it.

The neuropsychologist AK Benjamin investigates the boundaries of sanity and madness in his book, Let Me Not Be Mad. Through a series of consultations with patients, he explores the mind unravelling at the seams. But the question remains whether this unravelling mind belongs to the doctor or the patient.

The poet George Szirtes looks at the damaging impact of international events on a single family, in his memoir of his mother Magda. The Photographer At Sixteen follows Magda from her teenage life in Hungary, through political uprisings, internment in two concentration camps and transition to life in England. He explores the effect of an unravelling world on a family’s mental health.

You can listen to the programme on Start the Week BBC Radio 4 (Transmission 11th February 2019)

A Clean Home And Your Mental Health: Explaining The Relationship

Having a clean, tidy home helps you feel more organised, relaxed and can indirectly help the one in ten people living with voices. People living with diagnoses such as schizophrenia and people hearing voices have been shown to benefit from a relaxing environment and techniques, according to mental health charity, Mind UK and Rufus May. Recently, there has been much said about the link and importance of mental health in the workplace environment, but the maintenance of your home environment can also play a part in your overall mental health. 

Clutter Affects Our Self Esteem

A disorganised home can impact your mood and how you feel about yourself. Studies in the past including one by UCLA researchers have repeatedly established a link between clutter and mental conditions such as stress, anxiety, and depression. In 2016, comparethemarket.com found that the UK hoards the most clutter across Europe. One in two British people admitted to holding onto stuff longer than they should.

Women seemed to be more affected by the relationship between a tidy environment and stress levels, according to a University of California study. Overall, 85 percent of adults in the UK were regularly stressed as of January 2018. With a tidier home, you are shown to feel more relaxed and make better food choices. Both of these are irrevocably linked to mental health and self-esteem. An unclean home also means that physically, both you and your family (particularly children) are increasingly exposed to toxic fungi making you prone to immune reactions such as asthma.

A Clean Home Means Higher Energy Levels

A cleaner home can also boost your energy levels. People with tidier home environments reported that they got better sleep; a key influencer of your energy levels. In 2011, the National Sleep Foundation confirmed this link in a study where three-fourths of the participants said a clean, quiet room was important for their sleep. A better night sleep acts as a restorative to your body functions. Depression has also been linked to fatigue and the sleep quality which forms an indirect connection between depression and a clean home. 

Better Concentration And Focus

Organisation in the home and the workplace helps to channel focus and concentration. Productivity rises in environments that are not cluttered or messy due to the increased ease of performing the tasks needed.

This has been applied and proven in the workplace by multiple researchers and the same premise applies at home. A messy environment can increase the time taken to perform simple tasks, remained focused and negatively affect your stress levels. The Centre for Facilities Research released a study showing 88 percent of its participants found a messy environment to be a distraction while order promoted concentration and learning. 

Having a clean house does more than help you feel accomplished and happy. It supports your physical health by reducing your chances for illnesses including allergic reactions and asthmatic flare-ups. It also reduces stress, fatigue and promotes better mental health all around.

You can read more articles by Jane Fisher here

Safe Spaces for Suffering & Joy

Safe Spaces for Suffering & Joy is our sixth Compassionate Mental Health gathering, and our first to be held in London. As with our previous events, we are bringing together a wide cross section of people with a shared interest in transforming the way we live and work with mental health crises and distress.

This one-day gathering is an opportunity to explore alternative approaches for living and working with mental distress. We’ll look together at how we can create spaces for people to experience suffering and joy – spaces that are safe, compassionate and balance open-hearted, non-hierarchical relationships with wise boundaries.

Safe Spaces for Suffering & Joy takes place on Monday 1 April 2019 at Kingsley Hall in Bromley-by-Bow, London.

You can go here to
for the event here.

Is Your Job Putting Your Health at Risk?

Sometimes, we don’t even realise how demanding our jobs are, but the 9-5 working routine takes a toll on both your mind and body. In today’s society, a job is often more than a way of earning money. It’s a part of our identity and sometimes even a lifestyle of its own. This means that many of us will end up doing more hours that we’re contracted to, just in an effort to do our jobs well. In the UK, more than 5.3 million people do an average of 7.7 hours unpaid overtime every single week. Whilst chasing professional success is an admirable thing, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your physical and mental health. If you’ve been feeling consistently ill or stressed, your work could be to blame.

The majority of us work in desk-based jobs, which don’t exactly seem like dangerous environments to be in. However, working 10 years in a sedentary role can actually double your risk of getting colon cancer. In some workplaces, staff might be exposed to toxic chemicals on a regular basis. In some professions, like dentistry and radiology, physical health risks like this cannot be avoided. However, it’s important that employees are able to properly protect themselves from risks like this and also take breaks when they need to. In other professions such as lorry driving, expose to toxic chemicals is not generally expected. However, bladder and lung cancers are more prevalent in drivers because of the toxic chemicals in car materials.

Health issues caused by work can usually be solved by having a good work-life balance. Having sufficient time outside of work to look after ourselves whether that’s by getting enough rest, exercising or socialising, is crucial to our performance at work. There are even studies that have shown that happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees. It’s in the interest of everyone that employees get enough time outside of their jobs.

With our thanks to Katie Myers who writes for Stanley R Harris.. Katie created this infographic and wrote the introduction above.

This infographic from the team at Stanley R Harris looks at the physical and mental health risks commonly faced in different professions. Hopefully, it will encourage people to prioritise their health when they need to. Whilst pursuing a successful career can be great for your personal fulfilment, it’s important for your physical and mental health to take time outside of working hours to properly recuperate – doing so will benefit both your health and your career.


Relating to Voices, 3 April, Oxford

Wednesday 3rd April | 10.00 – 16.00 pm | St Catherine’s College, Oxford University | Manor Road | Oxford OX1 3UJ

On 3 April, the Educational Voice-Hearing Network will be delivering an all-day seminar on ‘Relating to Voices’. The event takes place in the Collaborating Centre for Values-based Practice in Health and Social Care, St Catherine’s College, Oxford University. For more information about the event go here

Places are free. Demand for places is expected to be high, so early booking is advised. A free lunch at St Catherine’s College is included. To book a place, click here.

News and Events

 

Here you can find information about all the news and events that have been published on this website.

Hearing Voices in the Bible

Ivan Barry

In Part Four of Ivan Barry’s audio presentation about hearing voices, entitled “Flames, Flashes and Voices in the Sky”, Ivan considers voice hearing in the Old and New Testaments. Characters in this talk include Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, Saul and Ananias.

You can listen to the rest of the talk here

Hearing Voices, Demonic and Divine: Scientific and Theological Perspectives

Hearing Voices, Demonic and Divine: Scientific and Theological Perspectives
By Christopher C. H. Cook

Open Access: You have full access to download the title. Creative Commons, CC-BY-NC-ND

15 February 2019

Experiences of hearing the voice of God (or angels, demons, or other spiritual beings) have generally been understood either as religious experiences or else as a feature of mental illness. Some critics of traditional religious faith have dismissed the visions and voices attributed to biblical characters and saints as evidence of mental disorder. However, it is now known that many ordinary people, with no other evidence of mental disorder, also hear voices and that these voices not infrequently include spiritual or religious content. Psychological and interdisciplinary research has shed a revealing light on these experiences in recent years, so that we now know much more about the phenomenon of “hearing voices” than ever before.

The present work considers biblical, historical, and scientific accounts of spiritual and mystical experiences of voice hearing in the Christian tradition in order to explore how some voices may be understood theologically as revelatory. It is proposed that in the incarnation, Christian faith finds both an understanding of what it is to be fully human (a theological anthropology), and God’s perfect self-disclosure (revelation). Within such an understanding, revelatory voices represent a key point of interpersonal encounter between human beings and God.

REVIEWS

‘With expertise in both theology and psychiatry, Professor Chris Cook is ideally placed to examine the complexities around the hearing of voices in spiritual and religious contexts. His book is an authoritative and comprehensive guide to the scientific and theological research in the area. It is also a delightfully engaging read.’ — Charles Fernyhough, Director and Principle Investigator, Hearing the Voice, Durham University, UK

 

‘Hearing Voices, Demonic and Divine, is a careful and comprehensive account of the voice-hearing phenomenon. Unlike other such surveys, Cook takes seriously the possibility that voices communicate divine intention. Cook explores the vexed problem of discerning whether and when spirit speaks with thoughtfulness, empathy and wise caution.’ — Tanya Marie Luhrmann, Howard H. and Jessie T. Watkins University Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University, USA

 

‘The experience of hearing voices is something that is common to religious experiences and to those experiences that some determine as unusual or pathological. Untangling the complex origins and meanings of voice hearing is not an easy task, especially if we take into consideration issues around religion and theology. The dual temptation to under or over spiritualise voice hearing is alluring and difficult to avoid. Chris Cook recognises this difficult tension, but also realises that it is not enough simply to partition voices with some assumed to be the responsibility of psychiatrists and others open to the discernment of religion and theology. The phenomenon of voice hearing requires an integrated approach that takes seriously the insights that can be gleaned from disciplines such as psychiatry, psychology, biology and neurology, whilst at the same time taking equally as seriously the insights that theology and Christian tradition brings to the conversation. All of these perspectives in turn require to take cognisance of the profound importance of listening to the personal narratives of voice hearers. Voices do not occur apart from people. If we forget that we risk losing the soul of our therapeutic and scientific endeavours. It is within this crucial hospitable conversation that new insights and fresh possibilities emerge. This powerful and well-argued interdisciplinary reflection on hearing voices opens up vital space for re-thinking the phenomenon of voice hearing and opening up new possibilities for understanding and responding. This is a helpful and important book.’ — John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen, UK

Download a pdf of the book

The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781472453983, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivative 4.0 license.

Ruby Wax on the Johnnie Walker Show, BBC Radio 2

Ruby Wax: Sounds Of The 70s with Johnnie Walker

Actress, comedienne, author and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax joins Johnnie for this show.

Ruby was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois. She came to the UK and studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. Ruby began her acting career as a straight actress at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, where she began a long-standing writing and directing partnership with Alan Rickman, who later was to direct most of her stage comedy shows. She joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1978.

Her TV career began in the mid 1980’s with Girls on Top (1985–86), but she found her niche as a comic interviewer, with TV shows including The Full Wax (1991–94) and Ruby Wax Meets… (1994–98). She was also the script editor for the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2012). Her memoirs, How Do You Want Me? (2002), reached the Sunday Times best-seller list.

Ruby first studied psychology at the University of California, Berkeley but did not complete her degree. In 2013 she gained a master’s degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Oxford University. In 2015, she was appointed a Visiting Professor in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Surrey.

Ruby’s new book, ‘How To Be Human’ is out now.

You can listen to the programme here. The interview begins 1 hour, 15 minutes and 27 seconds into the programme.

Creating Safe Places for Recovery

Karen Taylor has been involved in setting up different types of recovery houses starting in Gloucester in 2001, currently Houses based on her work with partner Ron Coleman are running in Perth WA, Trieste Italy and Amitola Communities in York UK.

Karen has also run residential Five-day workshops where people can explore recovery and make leaps in their recovery as well as Recovery camps, she also regularly uses aids like Skype to walk alongside someone on their recovery journey, creating environments where recovery can and does happen. The Trainers Karen Taylor Karen Taylor was an RMN with 16 years experience in the NHS in England with both older people and adults of working age. She has personal experience of designing, implementing and managing innovative community care services.

After leaving the NHS, she has worked with her husband ~Ron Coleman bringing the hearing voices approach to many Countries including Italy, Australia, NZ, France, Hong Kong, USA and Canada. She put all her experiences into running recovery house projects, all her learning on working with psychosis is rooted in practice and living with a voice hearer for 20 years. Recovery from psychosis is possible for everyone, people can learn to understand their experience and move on. This should be a human right for anyone given this label.

Karen is experience in working with families and believes real healing happens when dialogue happens. Karen has co-authored the workbook, ‘Working to Recovery’ and has also been involved in introducing recovery training into Australia, New Zealand, Palestine, Denmark and Italy as well as throughout the United Kingdom

Alison McCabe Alison McCabe comes from a background of developing creativity through her life. In her thirties she was the Project Manager for an innovative user led mental health service called Anam Cara Crisis House based on Soteria house in California. It was a pioneering project that widely influenced other services globally. From this she went onto being a professional storyteller and developing arts programmes in school and the community. After completing her BA and a distinction in creative writing Alison continued to dedicate most of her time to developing creatively, working in a hospice setting for a number of years. The opportunity to become an apprentice in sacred sound came along at exactly the right time in her life. It has really opened up her voice and many healing dimensions of sound and silence.

Alison is broadly on a Mystical Christian path though deeply honouring of all religions. She was born and grew up in South Africa under Apartheid and her passion for justice, equality and peace runs very strong as a theme through her life and work. Who Should Attend Suitable for commissioners, mental health service managers and staff, Housing support managers and staff, mental health workers, community development workers, family members, allies, and people with lived experience

How to Book https://www.workingtorecovery.co.uk/products/events-andtraining/ creating-safe-places-for-recovery-a-one-daysemina. aspx

By Email to [email protected] By Telephone 01851 810789. Mob 07884 268192 We can invoice Organisations or take payment by Credit cards or Paypal

First Notice: 11th World Hearing voices Congress, Montreal, Canada, 11th – 13th November 2019

A date for your diary!

The 11th World Hearing Voices Congress will be held on November 11 to 13, 2019 in Montreal, Canada.

A flyer will be available very soon that you can transmit to your networks. As with previous conferences, the first day will be dedicated to Intervoice’s member networks on 11th November.

The Quebec Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation is hosting the World Hearing Voices Congress as part of its 19th biennial conference.

The main theme will be Uniting our voices – to face the future! the sub-themes will be “inspiring approaches,” “sense of voices”, “spirituality”, “rights”, “diversity”, “experiential knowledge”.

More details will be provided with the call for proposals shortly.

Are You More Likely to Lose Your Teeth when You Experience Long Term Distress?

Looking after your dental health is important for your mental health

Are You More Likely to Lose Your Teeth when You Experience Long Term Distress? In this article Jane Fisher explores how emotional distress can impact on teeth health and what you can do to about it.

Managing the stress, anxiety and depression associated with hearing voices can be a lifelong challenge. Whether hearing voices is something you have routinely experienced, or is the effect of an acute stress event, it is crucial to seek help and form good habits to manage your mental health before it takes its toll on your physical health.

A recent study from researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Psychiatry and the San Francisco VA Medical Center reports that anxiety and depression can lead to a number of chronic health conditions including headaches, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease, sleep issues, obesity, and gastrointestinal issues. On top of those common physical conditions, research also shows a correlation between gum disease, tooth loss and mental health. Here’s why.

The Detrimental Effects of Cortisol

Conditions like stress and anxiety cause our bodies to produce elevated levels of the hormone cortisol, which can increase the progression of periodontal disease and ultimately lead to tooth loss. In fact, according to a report by Steve Kisely, MD, PhD in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, people with severe mental illness have 2.7 times the likelihood of losing all their teeth, compared with the general population. At least if tooth loss does happen, there are new options like dental implants that help prevent further periodontal disease and are work much more like natural teeth compared to dentures.

Unhealthy Habits

It is estimated that 1 in 3 adults in the UK experience tooth decay. Coping with stress and anxiety can unfortunately manifest as a variety of unhealthy behaviors that contribute to that statistic. Among those, self-medicating through smoking and drinking sugary beverages both have particularly negative effects on dental hygiene. Smoking can lead to tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss, and even mouth cancer. Sugary drinks, including alcohol, introduce sugar to bacteria that lives in plaque, which reacts to create acid that then gradually dissolves the enamel in the teeth, leading to decay. To prevent the ill effects of self-medicating — and tooth decay is just one side effect — it’s important to seek professional support from a counselor or psychiatrist who can recommend healthier ways of coping or prescribe medications to manage more severe mental health conditions.

Distracted Dental Care

For anyone who’s ever coped with mental illness, or lived with someone who has, you’ll understand that it has a way of taking over one’s life and making it hard to focus on healthy behaviors like brushing and flossing regularly, visiting the dentist, or eating healthy. Without good dental hygiene practices, oral health can quickly decline. In addition to professional support, having supportive family who can help keep healthy behaviors in the routine is priceless. Particularly as allowing a physical health condition such as tooth pain to become chronic can only exacerbate mental ill-health according to the Mental Health Foundation and data from the World Health Survey that says people with two or more long-term conditions are seven times more likely to experience depression than those without a long-term condition.

When hearing voices is also coupled with high stress and anxiety, it’s important to remember to seek help in managing your mental health. Left unchecked, the side effects for physical health can be quite serious and even impact your oral health. But establishing good routines can easily prevent something as extreme as tooth loss.

Sleep Health Awareness and Trauma Resources

Tuck is a community devoted to promoting sleep health awareness. The site provides evidence-based sleep health information, news, and unbiased product reviews.

While many people are aware of the fact that the amount of rest they get can affect their moods, few realize that PTSD, stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues in the aftermath of a traumatic event can trigger sleep disorders.

That’s why they’ve created these guides:
How does trauma affect sleep? What are the realities of trauma and how traumatic events can impact our sleep patterns and routines? Read the article learn more about common sleep disorders associated with trauma, treatment options, and resources that help segments of the population that are considered especially vulnerable to trauma-related symptoms (such as children and war veterans).
How grief changes sleep patterns Grief is an essential human experience. We’ll all experience grief throughout our lives, some of us more than others. Just as grief affects all of us, it also pervades all aspects of our lives. When we are grieving, our thoughts are consumed by our loss. Food doesn’t taste as good. We’re less motivated to do things we used to find fun. It takes everything just to keep going through the motions of daily life. And it’s tough to sleep. When we experience grief, it’s common to experience newfound insomnia, or to feel exhausted even if you are getting sufficient sleep. How does grief affect our sleep, and what can you do to sleep better during bereavement?
Sleep disorders in military veteran populations Getting the sleep we need is not always an easy task, and it can be an especially vexing problem for our veterans. Research shows that veterans face heightened challenges when it comes to sleep. In one study, a significant percentage of veterans and current service members — over 74% — reported symptoms consistent with insomnia, and this figure is even higher in veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Lack of sleep can cause or contribute to a wide range of health issues. For example, it can exacerbate mental health problems like PTSD and depression, reinforcing sleeping problems. A sleep deficit can affect the cardiovascular and metabolic systems in complex ways. It can also disrupt cognitive function, create risks when driving, and lead to problems in the workplace. To understand more about this issue, we’ll review the current research about sleep disturbances for veterans, their possible causes and effects, and some of the treatments that may be helpful in addressing them.

Mind Cymru calls on Welsh Government to review effectiveness of mental health legislation

As an independent review into the Mental Health Act published its recommendations, Mind Cymru calls for the Welsh Government to look at how the Act is applied in Wales.

Mind has welcomed the review and the recommendations of the panel.

Responding to the publication of the Review, Simon Jones, Head of Policy & Influencing at Mind Cymru, said:

“While the Mental Health Act applies in Wales, mental health services are devolved and operate under a different framework. Some of the review’s recommendations are already statutory obligations in Wales under the Mental Health Measure. These include improved access to independent advocacy and a requirement to develop care and treatment plans for patients receiving support from secondary mental health services. However, we know from a recent review conducted by the NHS Wales Delivery Unit that care and treatment planning is not being used as intended and there is little evidence that it is improving outcomes. 

“We are calling on the Welsh Government to review the effectiveness of mental health legislation, policy and practice in Wales. We would want this review to engage directly with people with experience of using mental health services in Wales and consider the effectiveness of the Mental Health Measure, the recommendations of the Mental Health Act Review and how the two pieces of legislation interact in a Welsh-context.”

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