Back in 2018, Hearing the Voice (HtV) launched a new website, Understanding Voices (UV), to help support people who hear voices and their loved ones. We are hoping to support them on designing an app for young people who hear voices…for more information about how you can support this and join our focus groups click the link here: https://hearingthevoice.org/2021/10/19/living-with-voices-should-we-make-an-app-for-young-people-who-hear-voices/
Voice Collective are collaborating with Manchester Metropolitan University on a Special Interest Research Group funded by Emerging Minds. We will be looking at treatment and support options for children who hear voices, see visions and have other sensory experiences and beliefs. We held a Webinar on Friday 26th February where an artist put together all of your ideas into this amazing piece of artwork! Thank you to everyone who came and we look forward to keeping you updated with this group!
We teamed up with the Charles Dickens Museum back in October 2020 half term to hold the ‘My Technicolour Self’ workshop! About ten young people signed up for the three day event and were supported by the museum team and an artist to create colourful self-portraits using paint, pastel, collage, coloured pencils or ink. Lots of great portraits were created, representing young peoples inner self or anything else that represented who they were. Please watch this space for some sharing of the portraits very soon!
Latest News from our manager Eve…
It’s been an exciting and inspiring couple of weeks here at Voice Collective. HVN USA, the USA’s national hearing voices network, invited me to deliver two workshops at the 9th World Hearing Voices Congress, which they hosted in Boston, MA, across the 16th – 18th August.
The theme for this year’s Congress was A Revolution of Unseen Voices, creating a platform for the voices, stories and communities that have seldom been heard within traditional psychiatry and psychology. Keynote speakers included Sangoma Traditional Healer Gogo Ekhaya Esima, who spoke passionately about trauma and spiritual growth, ‘Liberation Psychologist’ David Walker, who charted the history of the oppression of the Yakama Nation in Washington, and Mind in Camden’s Akiko Hart, who spoke of our work together supporting voice hearers in prisons, forensic secure units and Immigration Removal Centres.
We were delighted to win an Innovation award from Intervoice, the International Hearing Voices Network, for our work supporting people in detention (including young offenders), and one of the young people who we’ve worked closely with over the years at Voice Collective, the brilliant Nikki Mattocks, received a Special Mention in the Inspiring Person category. An enormous well done to Nikki for all her stellar campaigning and peer support work!
More than 70 people attended the two Voice Collective workshops – “Somewhere Where I Can Be Me”: Creating & sustaining safe spaces for children & young people who hear distressing voices, and Death By A Thousand Cuts? Rethinking self-harming by children & young people who hear voices. There was some fantastic discussion about the need for peer support initiatives in other parts of the world, and what these might look like, as well as ways of reframing and responding differently to children and young people who hear voices and self-harm.
Over the next few months I’ll be following up with colleagues and friends across the States, Canada and Denmark, supporting them to develop their services for children and young people, within community and in-patient settings. We’ll also be using our learning from the Congress to develop extra resources for the website, so watch this space!
Nikki, a participant in our recent artistic collaboration with Wellcome Collection, courageously shared some of her own experiences of hearing voices that other people can’t on Sky News.
Talking out about voices and visions is no easy feat, but Nikki shows that it is possible to overcome difficult experiences and express them. We hope that seeing Nikki speak out gives other young people the courage they need to let others know that they’re struggling with voice and – if needed – access help.
To find out more about the ‘This is a Voice’ exhibition and project that Nikki took part in, see: https://wellcomecollection.org/exhibitions/voice-hearing-project
To see the artwork and words of other young people who hear voices, see: http://www.voicecollective.co.uk/about-voices/young-peoples-art-gallery/
To read other young people’s stories, see: http://www.voicecollective.co.uk/about-voices/personal-stories/