Every year, on September 14, people from around the world find ways to honour the diversity of voice-hearing experiences. This celebratory tone may feel strange to some, especially if they are in the midst of a difficult struggle with voices or know someone who is suffering. Yet, creating spaces for people who hear voices or have similar experiences to speak out with pride is central to the idea behind the day. At it’s heart, World Hearing Voices Day is about stepping out from the shadows and recognising our right to speak about the full range of our experiences rather than feeling silenced by stigma, prejudice and discrimination.
It’s not a day to pretend that voice-hearing is always a wonderful experience (it isn’t). It’s a day where we can raise awareness of the range of experiences that come under the voice-hearing umbrella (the good, the bad, the fantastic and the ugly). It’s a day to honour the diversity, creativity, wisdom and strength of people who hear voices. It’s a day to break the stereotypes and challenge misconceptions.
Many people who hear voices are not in a position to speak out about their experiences – the risks of being open are too high. This doesn’t change unless we begin to change the conversations around hearing voices and help increase awareness. So, if you are in a position to speak out (whether you hear voices, see visions or have similar experience – or not) .. please take part.
Intervoice, the charity that supports the International Hearing Voices Movement, suggests celebrating World Hearing Voices Day in a range of ways:
Hosting, or going to, an event
Using the day to talk about ‘hearing voices’. Share some of Intervoice’s essential facts and promote some discussion with friends, colleagues and relatives.
Using social media to raise awareness (for example, by tweeting about voices and visions with the hashtag #WorldHearingVoicesDay)
Download and share our postcards with quotes from voice-hearers on your website or social media (http://bit.ly/2x7NR3L)http://www.intervoiceonline.org/about-intervoice/hearing-voices-day
You can also share some of the content from Understanding Voices – Durham University’s Hearing the Voice project’s new website that includes some amazing digital stories from people who hear voices.