Update 24/04/20: We have already got 100 people (our max) signed up to the film screening. We are going to live screen this event on YouTube and Facebook, to help others access it. Please bookmark our pages, choosing the service you prefer. If you would like to be on our waiting list for the Zoom room just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we have any drop outs we will offer spaces on a first come first saved basis.
In these strange and difficult times, where isolation is the norm, examples of the power of community and connections can be powerful beacons of hope. Whilst we can’t hold events in person right now, we wanted to create an online space for people to gather to think about experiences that come under the broad umbrella of our network (including hearing voices, visions, tactile experiences and unusual beliefs). More than that, we wanted to create a space for us to connect with each other, to hear and to be heard.
So, on Friday 24 April at 6.30pm – 8pm BST we are hosting an online gathering that is free and open to anyone who wants to come along (whether you hear voices or not). However, registration is needed in order to keep the gathering safe.
Please read FAQ before registering (especially information about privacy and safety).
International time zones:
10.30 PDT | 13.30 EDT | 17:00 UTC | 19.30 CEST | 20.00 EEST | 20.30 IDT | 23.00 IST
If you want to join from another country you are welcome. The gathering is taking place at 18.30 BST (British Summer Time). The above times have been estimated using an online tool. Please confirm your local time to avoid confusion/disappointment. See: www.thetimezoneconverter.com.
- Welcome – brief welcome from Rai (the host)
- Watch ‘Beyond Possible’ together – a chat box will be available for those who wish to share their responses and connect with others during the film. That will, hopefully, help give the feeling that we’re not alone … we’re in our own spaces, but there are other people out there who are doing the same thing as us at the same time.
- Panel discussion – to help get things going, we are lucky to have a panel of people that bring together different experiences (from life, work and/or research). With help from our host (Rai), the panel will have a little time to share some of their responses to the film and talk together about some of the themes. During this, you’ll have the opportunity to share your own reflections with other attendees using the chat function and register questions for discussion.
- Q&A / Comments from participants – in this section you will be able to ask questions and make comments. You will be able to do this by typing them (it’s OK to be anonymous). If you want to, and have the equipment to, you can also ask the question in person using your webcam and microphone.
- Closing thoughts and ending
About the film
Beyond Possible was supported by the Hearing Voices Research and Development Fund of the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, as part of a collaborative research and training project between Mount Holyoke College and the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community
“In the United States, media representations of voice-hearers are rare and mostly negative. When our stories *are* shared, we are often portrayed as one-dimensional, irrational, violent or unable to contribute to our communities. Research indicates that one in ten people hear voices at some point in their adult lives, however; negative media representation leads many to stay silent about these experiences. We now know that that silence and isolation can make an experience of hearing voices more distressing and harder to navigate.
With the Hearing Voices approach, we create space for voice-hearers to share their experiences in all their individual complexity. We see over and over the healing value of articulating what our voices say, how long they have been in our lives, and what life events they might relate to. We have seen the importance of making room for trauma-informed and culturally-competent understandings of both why voices/visions occur and what healing practices are available.
The following film features American voice-hearers from many walks of life. By sharing it you uplift the stories of parents, a veteran, people of different generations and backgrounds who hear voices and have found healing community in the Hearing Voices Network”.Open Excellence https://www.mentalhealthexcellence.org/beyond-possible-how-the-hearing-voices-approach-transforms-lives/
About the panellists (alphabetical order):
Caroline is a voice-hearer whose experiences challenge, inspire and occasionally amuse her. She first visited a psychiatrist when she was 8 years old but never found satisfactory answers in the medical system to help her understand these phenomena. For the past decade, Caroline has worked to create spaces based more on acceptance and relationship-building than pathology, including in forensic settings, online and spiritual communities. She is an HVN-USA Board member, rabbinical student, and loves to roller-skate.
Eoin is the latest member of the English National Hearing Voices Board. He has co-existed with his voices for as many years as his memory can recall. What began as a mixture of positive, but occasionally bothersome experience, became overwhelming in his teenage years. Through connection with Hearing Voices Movement approaches – specifically a youth project called Voice Collective, he is developing a working relationship with the voice he hears and begin to understand what drives her. Having completed a degree in Digital Film Production, he has done freelance work in this industry as well as within the Hearing Voices Movement. He has facilitated Hearing Voices Groups, co-facilitated Hearing Voices Training and presented at the World Hearing Voices Congress. Outside of all this, he loves to spend time painting and being generally arty.
Jess initially became aware of the approach when an old member of HVN supported her family when she was in her early teens. She now identifies as a family member, professional and past/occasional user of services. As well as developing Hearing Voices Groups as project manager at Mind in Camden (Voice Collective, Voices Unlocked and the London Hearing Voices Network), She is coming to the end of training as an integrative psychotherapist practicing within a feminist/sociopolitical framework. For downtime, she enjoys watching documentaries, reality TV, being in nature, watching video clips of animals and getting as much sleep as possible.
Mia is a nurse MSc, family therapist and Open Dialogue trainer and supervisor. She has been working in mental health services as a nurse in Western Lapland, Finland since 2002 with individuals and their networks. Since 2012 she has been a trainer on many international Open Dialogue/ Collaborative training programmes, including those run in the UK, US, Italy and Japan. During last years, she has also been developing the role of peer specialists in Western Lapland healthcare district, together with peer specialist trainer and other colleagues. Questions around social equality and justice are important to her, which has led her for doing volunteer work in India and to be as a shop steward for nurses at her region in Western Lapland.
One of Mia’s aims in training processes is to open and expand the dialogue in a way that increases people’s own creativity and resourcefulness. In her role as a trainer she is keen to emphasise and invite people who work in mental health settings to explore their own life narratives and the impact that these stories have on their current professional practice.
Tehs is a social science researcher interested in how people cultuivate and make sense of extreme experiences. He is writing a book on the return of psychedelic science and therapeutics, which compares and contrasts ways of approaching psychedelic experiences and ways of approaching experiences variously labelled as mad and psychotic. His PhD from 2007-2011 studied the knowledge-making practices of mental health self-help and mutual aid groups, including within the Hearing Voices Network.
Rai Waddingham (Chair)
Rai is Chair of the National Hearing Voices Network in England, and Vice Chair of ISPS UK. She hears voices, sees visions and has a whole host of other experiences that have led to her being multiply labelled (with diagnoses ranging from schizophrenia to DID). After spending her early 20s as an inpatient, she is now an Open Dialogue practitioner and PhD student – studying ‘survivor knowledge’. Rai feels lucky to have met the Hearing Voices Movement and credits her time within a Hearing Voices Group as one of her turning points. She has led projects setting up Hearing Voices Groups and supporting people in a range of settings (including prisons and in the youth sector). She loves music and performs as a singer/songwriter. In her down-time, she loves to watch her daughter (aged 2) and puppy digging in the garden and generally being silly.
Is it a peer support space? Whilst we hope the discussion will be beneficial to all – increasing connections and solidarity – it is not a Hearing Voices Group and does not have the same level of safety and confidentiality as a space set up for peer support. Imagine it like a supportive social event attended by people who have a similar interest – but may not know each other.
Are there any ground rules? As with all HVN events, we follow Intervoice’s community agreement. In short, we ask people to be kind and generous with one another. These are difficult times for so many of us, so extending understanding and compassion to one another is a valuable gift right now. There will be a HVN representative taking part in the chat who will be there if there are any concerns or issues.
How tech savvy do I need to be? As long as you (or someone with you) has basic skills in operating a computer, a smartphone or a tablet, you should be fine. Using Zoom is no harder than making a phone call or surfing the internet. Check out this guide to attending Zoom ‘Webinar’s for some easy instructions: https://www.cdaa.org.au/sb_cache/events/id/1147/f/Zoom. Just ask if you need any more guidance.
Who will know that I’m attending? The HVN volunteers crucial to managing the event will have access to the list of participants (which includes the name you registered with). However, other participants will not be able to see that you’re there unless you use the ‘chat’ or ‘Q&A’ function.
When will others see my name? If you use the Q&A function and do not choose ‘ask anonymously’, other participants will be able to see who asked a question. If you respond to a question, or use the chat facility, others will see the name that you registered with. This is why we suggest you register only with your first name, or a pseudonym if you have any concerns re privacy. If you have accidentally registered with your full name and wish to change it, please email us and we will do this for you before the event.
Can I ask questions in person? Whilst your microphone and webcam (if you have one) will be automatically disabled during the event, if you would like to ask a question or make a comment in person you are welcome to raise your hand during the Q&A discussion section. You can also write a question or comment in the Q&A section of the Zoom room. If you want to ask a question in person (with sound) please make sure you have a microphone enabled on your device.
Why are you recording it? We know that there will be some people who would love to hear the discussion and feel part of the event – but will not be able to access it (e.g. because of computer access, technology glitches or having a difficult time and struggling to focus). We would like to be able to reach out to these people too, so will be recording it. If you are concerned about the recording, or write/say something that you wish to be edited out – please let us know. We are happy to remove any of your contributions that you ask us to – and will not store them. We will leave 7 days before making the recording available to others. Hopefully this gives you time to let us know any concerns.
Is Zoom safe? Since the lockdown, Zoom has become one of the most popular video conferencing packages. When something is popular, on the internet, there are often people who want to hack or ruin it. There have been some cases reported of people entering into Zoom rooms and sharing distressing content with attendees. Since this, Zoom has put in place guidance for security (and some updates) that we are following. Do ask us if you have any questions.
Any other questions, just email us at email@example.com or comment on this page.