Voice Collective, a UK project that supports children and young people who hear voices, have released two new booklets for parents and supporters of children and young people who hear voices, see visions or have other unusual sensory experiences.
These booklets are available as PDF downloads, but print versions for families in the UK can be ordered by emailing Voice Collective ([email protected]).
Colleagues from the Netherlands and Denmark are currently translating these booklets into Dutch and Danish. If you, or someone you know, would like to help translate these booklets into other languages – please email us.
Voices & Visions – A straight-talking introduction
NEW: Stemmen & Beelden #1: Een no-nonsense introductie (Dutch Translation by Suzanne Engelen)
So your child hears voices or has other unusual experiences? Don’tpanic! You are not alone and neither is your child. Many of the parents we work with tell us that they feel overwhelmed. Understandably, they often search for answers on the internet – but sometimes find the information they receive both confused and confusing.
Did you know that around 8% of children and young people hear voices that others don’t? Many more (up to 75%) have one off, or transient, experiences in their childhood. Most aren’t bothered by these experiences, and they don’t need extra support from mental health services.
However, even when the voices and visions cause a problem – there is hope. Research shows that 3 out of 5 young people may stop hearing voices within three years. Even those who continue to hear voices can learn to cope with these, going on to live a full and happy life.
This booklet is intended to give you some sensible and honest information about voices and visions to help you better understand what your child is experiencing.
Voices & Visions – A guide to coping & recovery
Whilst the majority of children who hear voices aren’t negatively affected by them, this may be little comfort if your child is struggling to cope. When voices and visions are very intrusive, powerful or distressing, it is normal for the whole family to feel overwhelmed and powerless. As a parent, you may feel that your child is struggling with something that is simply beyond your understanding.
The good news is that research shows recovery is possible, and you as a parent have a really important role to play. You can support your child to discover their potential for growth and recovery, providing essential hope and encouragement.
If your child is currently having very distressing experiences, this may feel like a distant dream. You may feel lost and not know what to do for the best. It can help to see recovery as a journey. Every journey, no matter how difficult, starts with a single step.
Each of us is an individual, so there is no simple answer that works for everyone. However, we hope that the information in this booklet will give you some inspiration to find a way forward for you and your child.