Since 2000 there has been an increasing awareness in Denmark that people with severe mental distress can and do recover. Since then more and more conferences have been held with recovery as the major focus.
In 2000 Jørn Eriksen was involved in arranging an international conference in Copenhagen for the psychiatric nurses. For the first time, a presentation on voice hearing was held in Denmark where Mike Smith spoke about ways of helping people who heard voices.
This resulted in several conferences being held in the next few years where Marius Romme, Sandra Escher and Ron Coleman, among others participated.
In 2003 Jørn Eriksen made an ongoing agreement with Ron Coleman and Mike Smith that they would be consultants for the halfway house Slotsvænget. This joint venture, based on the work and research of Marius Romme and Sandra Escher rapidly proved to be a huge help for the people who heard voices. Based on this success at Slotsvænget, Jørn Eriksen took the initiative in 2004 to begin working towards a national hearing voices network and a local self help group for voice hearers.
On the 24th November 2004 a preliminary hearing was held for the voice hearers who had expressed an interest. 12 voice hearers attended. Mike Smith told of his experience with voice hearing groups in other countries and there was consensus to move forward in establishing a voice hearing group in Lyngby.
On 14th December 2004 a public meeting was held at Lyngby stadium where Ron Coleman and Mike Smith were invited to talk about their experiences with self help groups. The meeting was advertised in the local newspaper and 30 people came. Again there was consensus for establishing a voice hearing group in Lyngby as well as working towards creating a national hearing voices network.
The first self help group with 8 participants meeting once a week in rented premises was established. At the same time a work group consisting of 10 people, set down statutes, applied for funds and generally set down the guidelines for a Danish hearing voices network.
The Danish hearing voices network was officially inaugurated on the 3rd October 2005 and among those participating were Marius Romme and Sandra Escher.
Since then many groups have been established all over the country. Groups are run by the voice hearers themselves or by professionals within social psychiatry. Also of importance the Danish voice hearing network has been successful in placing recovery on the map as well as challenging typical psychiatric assumptions of the voice hearing experience by introducing a more meaningful and hopeful context of interpretation.”
Website: Stemmehørernetværket i Danmark
Chairperson: Olga Runciman
Email: [email protected] | Tel: +45 27 85 10 03