Today is World Hearing Voices Day. Unlike many ‘awareness-days’ in the mental health world, World Hearing Voices Day is the product of survivors …. starting with Louise Pembroke back in 2006. It isn’t a day for pity. It’s not a day to gloss over the fact that many of us struggle with really distressing experiences and would prefer not to hear voices. It’s not a day to frame voice-hearing solely as a mental health issue (as voice-hearing is much wider than that …. there are so many different reasons people may come to hear voices).
World Hearing Voices Day is a day to celebrate the strength and diversity of those of us who hear voices. It’s a day to lift up our stories (in all their complexity). It’s a day where those of us who can speak about voices openly (without fear of being bullied, harmed or coerced) can say ‘Here I Am!’ and hopefully create the kinds of conversations that help erode some of the silence and shame surrounding voice-hearing.
A key tenet of the Hearing Voices Movement, and our network, is that voice-hearing is a diverse human experience and that there is no single truth about voice-hearing that fits everyone. We are interested in people’s own ways of making sense of their experiences … in the relationship they have with the voices they hear or the visions they see. Whatever your experience of voices, visions, smells, presences, tactile sensations or tastes – you’re welcome here.
Intervoice have released a number of postcards for sharing on social media today, featuring some quotes contributed by people who hear voices and/or have related experiences. They don’t speak for us all .. that’s impossible .. but we hope that they open up some questions and encourage dialogue. If you’d like to share them, you can find them: https://jmp.sh/vLeIZ50.
Also, we’re hosting a World Hearing Voices Day special online gathering on Wednesday 16 September – exploring how voices and visions are represented in children’s TV and films. You can register here: https://voices-cyp.eventbrite.co.uk