Connecting People and Ideas in the Hearing Voices Movement

The following is a request we are passing along on behalf of the Hellenic Hearing Voices Network. Please contact the network directly if you would like any more information.

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Hearing Voices Network is a global movement created by and for people who hear voices or have similar unusual experiences. Members of the network are also friends, relatives and mental health professionals who want to actively express their strong objections against the way the traditional mental health system works. The approach of the Network is different from traditional psychiatry, as it does not tackle the aforementioned experiences as symptoms of an “abnormal brain”, but rather as meaningful experiences closely connected with the personal history of each individual. While the “solution” most frequently proposed by psychiatry is hospitalization, with many adverse implications, such as stigmatization and social isolation, the Hearing Voices Network advocates against coercion and strives to offer alternatives that focus on empowerment and self-help, by drawing on valuable knowledge of experts by experience who want to share ideas with others.

The Hellenic Hearing Voices Network is part of this global movement and our main aim is to bring this self-help ethos to the fore. We organize peer support groups for voice hearers, relatives and friends, and raise community awareness about hearing voices and other similar experiences. The Hellenic Hearing Voices Network was founded in 2010 at the beginning of the big economic crisis of Greece.  All these years we have managed to survive as Network without any external financial assistance, with many obstacles, relying only on our strong will to keep supporting this movement. At the present time we are organising the 6thWorld Hearing Voices congress, which will take place in Thessaloniki. This congress will be a great event for people who have the experience of hearing voices, because it will give the opportunity to the members of the Network to meet different people from different countries with similar experiences and to learn about new ideas and developments on hearing voices and other similar experiences.

The budget of the congress is high, due to venue costs, translation and other services that are going to be provided in order to satisfy the needs of many people from other countries who are going to attend.  Therefore we have to charge participation fees that we have tried to keep as low as possible. Unfortunately not all voice hearers will have the opportunity to participate in this great event because of financial obstacles. We need your financial support to help as many people as possible to take part in the 6thWorld Hearing Voices congress for free, because we believe that this new experience will empower the members of our network and bring new ideas and information for personal and collective development.Even if you can’t contribute financially, you can help us by spreading the word about this important issue and cause.

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Intervoice was set up to support the International Hearing Voices Movement, celebrating the diversity and creativity within it. We do what we can to share information and connect people with groups, networks and resources.

Congress poster
World Hearing Voices Day Postcard