I am fortunate to be linked with a number of fantastic networks and organisations. These, include:
National Hearing Voices Network
The National Hearing Voices Network is a national charity that exists without any statutory funding. Its mission is: To raise awareness of voice hearing, visions, tactile sensations and other sensory experiences; To give men women and children who have these experiences an opportunity to talk freely about this together; To support anyone with these experiences seeking to understand, learn and grow from them in their own way.
It was being part of a Hearing Voices Group that gave me the inspiration and support I needed to believe that it was possible to live a life outside of the ‘revolving door’ of hospital admissions. The group helped me feel like a person again and, without this, I don’t think I would be where I am today. I’ve been facilitating groups for many years now, and I’m still continually amazed and humbled by the care and support members show one another even when they are in their darkest and most overwhelming times. I’m proud to be a trustee of the Hearing Voice Network and do what I can to help further develop and establish these approaches.
If you would like to join the Hearing Voices Network, please see: www.hearing-voices.org/about-us/join-us/
ISPS UK is the UK branch of the International Society for Psychological & Social Approaches to Psychosis. In a world where the first line response to distress categorised as ‘psychosis’ or ‘schizophrenia’ is often neuroleptic medication – ISPS is a much needed voice that helps to raise awareness of the value of psychological and social approaches.
I joined ISPS UK as a committee members a couple of years ago, and became Vice Chair earlier this year. It is great to be able to support this small national charity to find a way of increasing the dialogue around the role of psychological therapies and to further integrate the lived experience perspective in all they do.
If you would like to join ISPS UK, please see: www.ispsuk.org
In 2014, I was elected on to the Executive Committee of ISPS. This gives me the opportunity to work alongside people from other countries to promote psychological and social approaches to the thing we call ‘psychosis’ on a wider scale.
For more information on ISPS, see: www.isps.org
The Hearing Voices Movement is, in my view at least, an amazing and vibrant collection of people and ideas. It grows, shifts and changes and is not owned by any one organisation or person – but is inspired and shaped by us all. Intervoice is a small international charity who’s mission is to support the development of the movement – rather than constrain or dictate to it. Like National Hearing Voices Network, it is unfunded and exists on membership fees alone.
I the Chair of the Intervoice board, working alongside a committed group of people to support the international hearing voices movement.
If you would like to join Intervoice, please see: www.intervoiceonline.org/about-intervoice/join-us
Mind in Camden
Mind in Camden is an independent charity, affiliated to National Mind. It hosts the London Hearing Voices Project, of which I was proud to be the manager of between 2007 and 2015. The London Hearing Voices Project includes a range of projects developing services and support for people who hearvoices, see visions or have overwhelming beliefs. It includes: Voice Collective – a project supporting children and young people who hear voices and their families; London Hearing Voices: Prisons & Secure Units Project – a project developing Hearing Voices Groups in prisons and medium/high secure forensic units; Paranoia & Distressing Beliefs Project – working with a range of agencies to develop a sustainable network of peer support groups for people struggling with unusual beliefs; London Hearing Voices Network.
I now provide training, reflective practice groups and supervision for staff and volunteers engaged in ‘hearing voices’ work at Mind in Camden.
Hearing The Voices Project – Durham University
I am a consultant for Hearing The Voice, an innovative interdisciplinary project led by researchers at Durham University. Directed by Charles Fernyhough (PI) and Angela Woods (Co-Director), the project aims to help us better understand the phenomenon of hearing a voice no one else can hear, its cognitive-neuroscientific mechanisms, its social, cultural and historical significance, and its therapeutic management. Their research team includes academics from cognitive neuroscience, cultural studies, English literature, medical humanities, philosophy, psychiatry, psychology and theology; clinicians and arts-and-health practitioners; voice-hearers, service users and other ‘experts by experience.’