Here you can find information about all the news and events that have been published on this website.
Here you can find information about all the news and events that have been published on this website.
What is it like hearing voices that others can’t? For Jeannie Bass, hearing voices is her daily reality. The medical term is “auditory hallucinations.” Jeannie is a leader in the Hearing Voices Movement, which aims to re-frame and destigmatize the extreme mental experiences that society labels as “crazy.”
Professor Freeman is a clinical psychologist and has been researching and treating delusions for the past twenty years.
“A delusion is a belief that is impossible, incredible or false; it is held with a high degree of certainty; and it endures despite evidence to the contrary.”
The programmes will shine a light on the understanding of delusions, and how this has changed over time. At the heart of each episode there is an interview with an individual who has experienced a delusion.
Shared with listeners will be the type of conversation normally confined to the therapy room. The programmes also present cases from the archives – from the Renaissance through to the asylums of Paris and the psychiatric hospitals of Victorian Britain – to observe the influence of the political and social climate on the content of delusions.
Professor Freeman also interviews psychologists and psychiatrists – including Dr Jessica Bird, Dr Louise Isham, Professor Belinda Lennox, Dr Bryony Sheaves, and Dr Felicity Waite from the University of Oxford – who research and treat delusions.
Cheryl, a contributor to A History of Delusions, explained why she took part, “If this helps even just my mum understand what I was going through then I’d be incredibly grateful.”
To listen to the BBC Radio 4 Documentary Series go here
Sojourner Truth (c. 1797 – November 26, 1883) was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son in 1828, she became the first black woman to win a case against a white man. She gave herself the name Sojourner Truth in 1843 after she became convinced that God had called her to leave the city and go into the countryside “testifying the hope that was in her”.
Her best-known speech was delivered extemporaneously, in 1851, at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. The speech became widely known during the Civil War by the title “Ain’t I a Woman?,” a variation of the original speech re-written by someone else using a stereotypical Southern dialect; whereas Sojourner Truth was from New York and grew up speaking Dutch as her first language. During the Civil War, Truth helped recruit black troops for the Union Army; after the war, she tried unsuccessfully to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves.
Sojourner Truth was born in 1797 as Isabella, a Dutch-speaking slave in rural New York. Separated from her family at age nine, she was sold several times before ending up on the farm of John and Sally Dumont. As was the case for most slaves in the rural North, Isabella lived isolated from other African Americans, and she suffered from physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her masters. Inspired by her conversations with God, which she held alone in the woods, Isabella walked to freedom in 1826. Although tempted to return to Dumont’s farm, she was struck by a vision of Jesus, during which she felt “baptized in the Holy Spirit,” and she gained the strength and confidence to resist her former master. In this experience, Isabella was like countless African Americans who called on the supernatural for the power to survive injustice and oppression.
In 1843 she heard “a voice from Heaven” and began spreading “God’s truth and plan for salvation.” According to her dictated autobiography, one day “God revealed himself to her, with all the suddenness of a flash of lightning, showing her, ‘in the twinkling of an eye, that he was all over,’ that he pervaded the universe, ‘and that there was no place where God was not.'” “I jes’ walked round an’ round in a dream,” the former slave later told Stowe. “Jesus loved me! I knowed it, I felt it.” Sojourner Truth would begin her messages: “Children, I talk to God and God talks to me.
During her early years, she joined a cult whose leader eventually murdered one of the members; for another period, she followed the Millerites, who predicted Christ would return in 1843. Wanting to make a fresh start, Isabella asked God for a new name. Again she had a vision—God renamed her Sojourner “because I was to travel up an’ down the land, showin’ the people their sins, an’ bein’ a sign unto them.” She soon asked God for a second name, “’cause everybody else had two names; and the Lord gave me Truth, because I was to declare the truth to the people.”
Sojourner joined religious movements in the Manhattan and Northampton area before striking out on her own to spread faith in her God and in support of women’s rights and abolition. In a letter to Whitman, Eliza Seaman Leggett explains that Truth will only let children read her the Bible, insisting, “If it was the Word of God he will make it plain to her.” Sojourner Truth saw God everywhere, and believed there should be “scriptures telling of railroads, and telephones and the Atlantic cable. She sees God in a steam engine and electricity.” She also saw God in Walt Whitman’s writing; Leggett wrote to Whitman in order to tell him an anecdote about his Leaves of Grass. Overhearing Leggett read Whitman’s poetry to her children, Truth interjected to ask, “‘Who wrote that?’ I turned, and there in the doorway she stood, her tall figure, with a white turban on her head, her figure and every feature full of expression. Immediately, she added: ‘Never mind the man’s name. It was God who wrote it. He chose the man to give his message.’
It was against slavery that the former slave made her most virulent attacks. But she was also a woman, and once she met other female abolitionists, she became an avid supporter of women’s rights as well. For many northerners, this was even more controversial than her abolitionist preaching. Some tried to stop her from speaking at a Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, in 1851—they feared it would weaken the abolitionist movement. But Truth spoke anyway, delivering her most famous speech:
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages and lifted over ditches and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody helps me any best place. And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm. I have plowed, I have planted, and I have gathered into barns. And no man could head me. And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as man—when I could get it—and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne children and seen most of them sold into slavery, and when I cried out with a mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me. And ain’t I a woman?
Truth died on November 26, 1883. In her old age, she had let go of Pentecostal judgement and embraced spiritualism. Her last words were “be a follower of the Lord Jesus.”
The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act (MHA) was set up in 2017 to look at how the legislation in the Mental Health Act 1983 is used and how practice can be changed. It produced a report with recommendations for change in December 2018.
To coincide with the launch of the government’s report on its Review of the Mental Health Act, Hearing Voices Network, England have launched an alternative review.
HVN England believe this is important as the Mental Health Act has a profound impact on the lives of our members and supporters, many of whom have either been detained under the act, witnessed the detention of a loved one or lived under the threat of detention.
In view of serious concerns about the neglect of service user led groups within the review process, they conducted an event for over 100 of our members, coupled with a survey, to find out what changes they wanted to see. The report is the culmination of this process.
“The MHA and the Code of Practice should enshrine a rights-based approach. Reflecting the views of our membership, we recognise the need for short term detention (under 72 hours) in extreme circumstances. This should be understood as a grave decision of last resort, having exhausted all other options and should take place with the most stringent of safeguards. We call for an end to longer-term detention under the Mental Health Act in order to administer treatment, including forced medication. This can only take place alongside the implementation of a meaningful range of well-funded alternative mental health and social support.”
You can download the Executive Summary of the Alternative Review here
You can read more about the alternative review on the HVN England website here
We are pleased to announce that Free Hearing Voices Resource Packs are now available for 2019.
The packs are sent out at different times of the year according to the number of applications. The next set of packs will be sent out in January 2019.
If you would you like to apply for a free resource pack made up of books and DVD’s about the hearing voices approach then Hearing Voices Network Cymru will send you a free pack containing the following:
•Living with voices: 50 Voices of Recovery by Marius Romme, Sandra Escher et al
•Hearing Voices : A Common Human Experience by John Watkins
•Children and Voice Hearing by Sandra Escher (if applicable to the needs of the group applying)
•The Working with Voices workbook by Mike Smith and Ron Coleman
•The Voice Inside by Paul Baker
•Setting up and running a hearing voices group DVD and CD set
• The Working with Voices workbook by Mike Smith and Ron Coleman
• The Voice Inside by Paul Baker
plus one DVD and/or book according to the needs of the person applying
Harriet Tubman was a devout Christian and often experienced visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions and revelations from God.
Harriet Tubman (c.1820-March 10, 1913) was a former slave who repeatedly risked her life to free over 300 slaves from Southern Democrat slave plantation. The trails she took became known as the Underground Railroad. After the Civil War, she helped set up schools for freed slaves.
She earned the nickname of ‘Moses’ because she led so many of her people from bondage in the house of slavery to the promised land of freedom along the Underground Railroad.
In her youth, Tubman was injured when an overseer threw a 2-pound weight that hit her in the head. For the rest of her life, Tubman experienced seizures, severe headaches and narcoleptic episodes. The injury also caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. She would seemingly fall unconscious, although she claimed to be aware of her surroundings while appearing to be asleep. These episodes were alarming to her family, who were unable to wake her when she fell asleep suddenly and without warning. This condition remained with her for the rest of her life.
In 1849, when Tubman was in her late twenties, she felt she heard the Lord’s voice urging her to flee northward. After an initial attempt with her two brothers that failed, she set out again by herself, hiding during daylight hours and traveling by night, fixing her eyes on the North Star for direction.
She was a devout Christian and often experienced visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions and revelations from God. She rejected the teachings of the New Testament that urged slaves to be obedient and found guidance in the Old Testament tales of deliverance. This religious perspective informed her actions throughout her life.
Tubman’s faith was a major resource on these dangerous missions. She often spoke of “consulting with God,” and trusted that He would keep her safe, according to Catherine Clinton’s account in On the Road To Harriet Tubman. Tubman said she would listen carefully to the voice of God as she led slaves north, and she would only go where she felt God was leading her. Abolitionist Quaker Thomas Garrett, who worked with her said, “I never met with any person of any color who had more confidence in the voice of God, as spoken direct to her soul.” Her faith in God seemed to always bring immediate assistance. She used spiritual songs as coded messages, warning escaping slaves of danger or directing them toward a safe path.
In one instance God warned her she must turn aside from the path she was on and cross a rushing river immediately. Not knowing the depth, the men with her hesitated. Harriet stepped boldly into the current, and found it never rose above her chin, according to an account. When the men saw she was safely across, they followed her. Later Harriet learned that a group of desperate men had been waiting on the path they were traveling and planned to seize them. If she had not responded to God’s ‘still small voice,’ they would have been captured.
Once God warned her that her parents were in danger. God directed her to go to a certain house and ask for 20 dollars. “The owner of the house told her that the Lord had sent her to the wrong place. Harriet would not budge, but drifted asleep, waking only long enough to insist that she wasn’t leaving until she got the money. Visitors passing through the busy house spread her story and collected $60 for her. Her father, it turned out, was facing criminal charges for helping runaway slaves, and the money was needed to whisk him to Canada,” Graves noted. “Sudden deliverance never seemed to strike her as at all mysterious,” biographer Sarah Bradford wrote. “Her prayer was the prayer of faith and she expected an answer . . . . When surprise was expressed at her courage and daring, or at her unexpected deliverance, she would always reply, ‘Don’t, I tell you, Missus. It wasn’t me. It was the Lord!
Harriet Tubman stated:
“I always told God: I’m gwine to hole stiddy on to you, and you got to see me trou … Jes so long as He wants to use me, He’ll tak ker of me, and when He don’t want me any longer, I’m ready to go.”
To her biographer, Sarah H. Bradford, Harriet Tubman related in 1868:
“‘Twant me, ’twas the Lord. I always told him, “I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me,” and he always did.”
As Tubman aged, the seizures, headaches, and suffering from her childhood head trauma continued to plague her. At some point in the late 1890s, she underwent brain surgery at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital. Unable to sleep because of pains and “buzzing” in her head, she asked a doctor if he could operate. He agreed and, in her words, “sawed open my skull, and raised it up, and now it feels more comfortable” She had received no anesthesia for the procedure and reportedly chose instead to bite down on a bullet, as she had seen Civil War soldiers do when their limbs were amputated.
By 1911, her body was so frail that she had to be admitted into the rest home named in her honor. A New York newspaper described her as “ill and penniless”, prompting supporters to offer a new round of donations. Surrounded by friends and family members, Harriet Tubman died of pneumonia in 1913. Just before she died, she told those in the room: “I go to prepare a place for you.”
Continuing her series of articles about mental health and hearing voices, Jane Fisher discusses the importance of mental health in the workplace
A recent report published by Perkbox, an organisation dedicated to helping companies create happier workplaces, confirmed Cardiff as being the most stressed city in the UK. The 2017 report showed that around 70% of Cardiff employees reported high levels of work stress and anxiety, superseding Wolverhampton (64%) and London (59%). ‘Increased job growth in the city has resulted in more people commuting in from other counties, which may be a reason for the increase in stress,’ says Saurav Chopra, CEO and co-founder of Perkbox. In addition, the usual stresses of job insecurity and feelings of being undervalued will also contribute further to the stress workers feel in the city.
During times of acute stress it can be common to hear voices. That’s why it’s important to talk to someone about your circumstances and what you’re experiencing. With employees spending an average of 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime, it is important they remain mindful of any stresses or internal voices and learn to how to manage these.
The Health and Safety Executive have published recent findings in their Labour Force Survey that state there were 595,000 workers living with some form of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017/18. That number of people equates to approximately 15.4 million days lost across the UK with up to 44% of those days being due to high workloads. The survey further showed that Education and Healthcare were the industries that contributed to the highest levels of work-related stress, with public administration and defence not far behind.
In addition, The Mental Health Foundation also did a recent survey on 4,169 working adults in the UK and found that a lack of balance between the demands of the job and the control they have over tasks was a major contributing factor to stress. Of the people that were surveyed, it was found that an average of 23.9 working days were lost in 2017. This number effectively highlighted the importance of the employer’s responsibility to promote good mental health in the workplace and to protect the well-being of their employees.
The Welsh Government has developed a scheme called The Corporate Health Standard which is being put in place to encourage employers to adopt practices to improve their staff’s health and well-being. Developed by Healthy Working Wales it is quoted as being in place to be ‘a continuous journey of good practice and improvement for the health and well-being of employees.’
The Standard can be awarded to companies on different levels – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum depending on how committed they are to supporting the health of their employees. There is no restriction on which employers can sign up, but organisations with 50 employees or less might find some of the elements less relevant to them. If an organisation does express an interest, a Regional Workplace Health Practitioner can guide them through meeting the criteria of the standard. Some of the standard’s subjects are:
Health and Safety
Corporate Social Responsibility
Although organisations are becoming more aware of mental health within the workplace, employees can also take certain actions to ensure that the risk of developing stress, anxiety or depression at work are reduced:
Realise when it’s causing a problem and identify the cause
Communicate this cause with a manager or Human Resources representative
Review of lifestyle and habits
Eat healthy, balanced meals every day and drink plenty of water
Pay attention to alcohol and caffeine intake
Get enough sleep
Work-related stress continues to be a problem, not only for the individuals involved, but for the economy as a whole. Studies have shown that employees who are happier at work are likely to be less stressed, get promoted more often and her generally more creative and productive at work. It also results in less time out and better productivity for the organisation as a whole. Responsibilities lie on both sides to ensure that any indication of stress, anxiety or depression are highlighted early on to minimise any negative impact.
Visions, Voices, Mystics and Muses is a talk by Ivan Barry which aims to raise awareness and reduce stigma relating to the experience of hearing voices and seeing visions.
For many people, having unusual experiences like this seems to indicate pathology and illness rather than creativity and possibility. Yet many aspects of our current world realities are underpinned and contributed to by individuals who have reported remarkable experiences and have obtained connection and access to higher knowledge and learning. Gifts that they have gone on to share with us.
Ivan Barry worked for over twenty years in hospital and community settings in the UK, first as a nurse in Coventry, England, then becoming a patient advocate he helped to set up and run support groups for those hearing critical and challenging voices in Coventry, England, Madison, Wisconsin, USA and Edinburgh, Scotland. These groups helped to create safe spaces for individuals to share and discuss their experiences as well as looking at ways to try and cope better and share these helpful and empowering ideas.
Ivan began to research historical examples of voices and visions and quickly realised that our very world today was to some extent formed and contributed to by remarkable people who have had these unusual experiences. His talk on “Vision, Voices, Mystics and Muses” is a light-hearted look at this and we will see how Art, Sciences, Music, Medicine, Religion, Politics and Literature have evolved in part through the insights and experiences that these individuals have undergone.
This is a talk Ivan often gives to voice hearers and it has often helped to raise their self-esteem enormously. The purpose of these talks is to raise awareness of the commonality of voice hearing in the general population, to reduce stigma and misunderstanding and to share ideas on coping with difficult experiences.
In this talk, he explores some of the unusual experiences of historical figures that have created the world we have inherited and live in today. From religion, art and the sciences to music, philosophy and literature, voice hearers and visionaries have played a prominent role in our collective human journey! You can visit Ivan’s website here. Parts two and three of this talk will be published on our website in the near future.
Researchers have found a link between trauma in childhood and psychotic experiences at the age of 18. The University of Bristol study has been published in JAMA Psychiatry. The findings are the first to comprehensively examine the association between different types of trauma, and their timing in childhood with later psychotic experiences using a large population study. Psychotic experiences include experiences such as hearing voices or feelings of paranoia.
Read the full article here
Source: The Economic Times (India), 24th November 2018
Around 8% of young people are thought to hear voices at some stage in childhood, with up to 75% having a one-off experience of voice hearing. This makes hearing voices about as common for young people as having asthma or dyslexia . For many children, then, it seems that hearing voices is a pretty normal part of growing up .
Research shows, the experience of hearing voices that others can’t hear – also called auditory verbal hallucinations in traditional psychiatric terms – is not usually upsetting for many children. The experience of hearing voices also doesn’t tend to last too long – meaning it can often be something children grow out of or overcome in time.
Source: MenaFn, (Jordan) 23rd November 2018
Read full article here
Cecilia McGough puts a face to schizophrenia and helps empower college students through the upcoming non-profit Students With Schizophrenia. Students With Schizophrenia: http://sites.psu.edu/studentswithschi… I Am Not A Monster: SCHIZOPHRENIA: http://sites.psu.edu/ceciliamcgough/
Loukia is looking for participants for the following study and has contacted HVN England to ask if they would circulate it. If you are interested in taking part or know someone who is, please contact them directly to find out more information. The study is independent to HVN. They have agreed to share the outcome of the research.
Chaidemenaki Loukia: [email protected]
Participants Information Sheet
We invite you to take part in the research project “Experiences of mystical among people who hear voices, see visions or who have had extraordinary experiences” which is conducted by Chaidemenaki Loukia under the supervision of Dr. William Van Gordon, lecturer in Psychology and University of Derby, UK.
What is the aim of this research?
The aim is to explore the experiences of mystical among people who hear voices, see visions or have had extraordinary experiences
Who is able to participate?
People who have had mystical experiences or hear voices, see visions or have had extraordinary experiences are able to participate in the research. Criteria for participation are mainly having interest for spiritual, religious, transcendent, artistic matters and so-called mystical experiences, having/or have had experienced mystical experiences. However, people who have or have had mystical experiences under substance intoxication, have a recent mental health disorder diagnosis and are under 18 years old are not able to participate in the research.
What will I be asked to do?
At first, you need to declare your interest at the end of this document by giving your e-mail. Then, the researcher will contact you in order to arrange a short screening via skype with you in order to explain more about the research aims and for you to discuss your motivation and relevance with the research topic. After completing this, you will be sent an online consent form and go through an online one-to-one interview with the researcher. The interview questions will be relevant to the area of interest of the research. The discussion will take 20–30 minutes maximum. After completing the interview process you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the research topic.
Will I be affected in any way?
There are no known risks (psychical or psychological) resulting from the study. The discussion will be conducted in a sensitive, warm and empathetic way.
Will I be able to withdraw from the research?
If any issue arises during or after the process, you are able to withdraw at any point and until two weeks after the interview date by contacting the researcher in the given contact details. A referral list and contact details of the researcher will be also provided for any further information regarding the research.
Will my information given be kept confidential?
Your data will be kept confidential. You will be asked to provide a Unique identification Code with which your data will be stored. Furthermore, you will be addressed throughout the research processes with a pseudonym. The interview will be audio-recorded. The recording will be solely for internal use by the researcher to analysis of the relevant information. The information provided will kept up to 7 years. After this time period, all data provided will be destroyed.
Who will have access to this information?
The researcher, the research team and academics at the University of Derby will have access to the information provided.
How will the information provided be stored and used in the future?
The recordings and information provided will be kept at the absolutely secured in an electronic file accessible only by the researcher. They will be only used for writing up the research report. A part of the research report might be used for other scientific purposes such as publication scientific journals. Participants’ data used in the analysis will be addressed using a pseudonym.
Has the research been ethically approved?
Yes, the research has been designed based on the British Psychological Society Code of Ethics and approved by the Ethics Committee for psychological research of the University of Derby.
Will I receive any rewards from my participation?
No, there is no financial reward from participating in the research. Your participation is entirely voluntary.
If I need further information to whom shall I refer to?
In case of any further information or enquiries about the research, you shall contact the researcher, Chaidemenaki Loukia: [email protected] or the supervisor of the research project Dr. William Van Gordon: [email protected] and 01332597826
“I would start thinking these crazy thoughts,” Fury said. “I bought a brand new Ferrari convertible in the summer of 2016. I was in it on the highway and at the bottom I got the car up to 190mph and heading towards a bridge.
“I didn’t care about nothing. I just wanted to die so bad. I gave up on life but, as I was heading to the bridge, I heard a voice saying: ‘No, don’t do this Tyson. Think about your kids, your family, your sons and daughter growing up without a dad.’”
See full article in The Guardian (26/10/18) here
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Meeting Room 5, Building 2, 1st Floor, St David’s Park, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
The Lecture Hall (ED27) Education Centre, 2nd Floor, Neath Port Talbot Hospital Baglan Way, Port Talbot, SA12 7BX
To book your place on the workshops go to Eventsforce:
Monday 12th November 2018 Session: http://www.eventsforce.net/nliah/1125/register
Thursday 20th December 2018: http://www.eventsforce.net/nliah/1128/register
For further information, contact: Paul Baker at [email protected]
The training will be co-facilitated by John Jenkins and Paul Baker from the International Mental Health Collaborating Network (IMHCN).
John Jenkins is the CEO of International Mental Health Collaborating Network. He developed the Discovery Partnership approach and Action Learning Sets. John has vast experience of planning and implementing the transformation of services.
Paul Baker is Secretary of IMHCN. He has extensive experience in this area. Paul was one of the founding members of the Hearing Voices Network in England and is currently the social media coordinator of INTERVOICE, the influential coordinating body for the international hearing voices movement.
For further information contact Paul Baker at [email protected]
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