What are Voice Collective Groups?
Voice Collective groups are peer support groups for young people who hear, see or sense things that other people don’t. They are safe spaces for young people to meet others who understand what they’re going through, without worrying about being judged or made fun of.
I’d been living all these years in a strange isolated bubble, thinking I was unique, and then I realised there were all these other people just like me.
Whilst all groups will hold to some basic ideals (respect and mutual support), they will all be unique. Groups members have a big part to play in shaping it to fit with what they need, and want. Some groups will spend a lot of time sharing their experiences in words, others may take a more active/creative route.
What is peer support?
Peer support is based on the idea that, often, the best people to help us through difficult times are those that have been there too. It’s about getting together, sharing experiences and finding ways of coping with them.
It’s not about there being an expert standing up at the front, telling you what to do. We all have our own expertise and we all have something to offer – even if we don’t always realise this.
Over the last few years, there have been lots more peer support and self help programmes aimed at young people. Some schools train young people to provide peer support to their classmates who are being bullied. There are peer support groups for young people Iwo are struggling with self harm, eating distress or questioning their sexuality too.
If you’d like to find out about peer support for other issues, check out our links page.
How can peer support groups help?
The groups will help different people in different ways. Group members might: feel less isolated and make friends; begin to feel ‘normal’ again; try out new ways of coping with your experiences; explore different ways of making sense of them; share what’s going on in your life; feel like you can be yourself with people you trust.
The practical bits
An average group will meet for about an hour each week and be made up of 5-8 people. There will usually be some social time built in, meaning you get chance to chill out with other group members. Groups will be co-facilitated by someone who has experience of living with voices themselves (a member of the Voice Collective team at Mind in Camden)
There’s no pressure to come each week – we think it’s important that you are there because you want to be, not because you feel you have to.
All groups will be run as partnerships between the Voice Collective team (Mind in Camden) and organisations that support young people (including the The Well Centre, Greenwich CAMHS and South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust).
If you want to find out more about the groups, you can:
- Browse the rest of this section (for info on the different groups, dates etc)
- Contact Voice Collective (firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7911 0822)
- Contact the group you’re interested in going to (Camden / Greenwich / Lambeth)
If you’d like to come to a group, get in touch and we’ll send you a self referral form. All you need to do is fill it in (either by yourself, or with the help of someone you trust) and send it back to us.
What if I want support but don’t want to go to a group?
We also offer individual support to young people and their families. That means you can come and talk with one of our team in private.
If you’d like to meet up with other young people who hear voices or see visions, but feel like a peer support group isn’t for you – why not try one of our creative workshops? They’re a good starting point and you don’t need to commit to coming to each one.