World Hearing Voices Day recognises and values the diversity of those of us who hear voices, see visions or have related sensory experiences. It is a day to promote our right to define our experiences in our own way. It’s a time to expand the narrow stereotypes that still exist about voice-hearing – that it should be a source of shame and secrecy. We want to help create a world where people can talk about their experiences with those they choose – and expect an empathic response. We want to promote the idea that voice-hearing is a diverse human experience and that we need to leave judgements and assumptions at the door.
It’s not a day for sugar coating the experience. Some people hear voices that cause great distress and disability. Yet it’s also about recognising the diversity of voice-hearing experiences – and how the experiences, and what they mean to us, can change.
Inspired by Louise Pembroke, a voice hearer and psychiatric survivor from England, we have celebrated World Hearing Voices Day since 2006. Without core funding, World Hearing Voices Day relies on the creativity, energy and passion of our members. Thankfully, our membership is overflowing with ideas and we have witnessed an impressive array of events and activities across the world. These events have included celebrations, social media campaigns, poetry/music events, conferences, marches, stalls and gatherings.
Celebrate with us by:
- 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 (https://jmp.sh/vLeIZ50)