We have recently been made aware of a petition on Change.org that is seeking to save the Hearing Voices Network of Western Australia. Whilst this petition is independent to Intervoice we recognise the incredible value of Hearing Voices Networks as focal points for raising awareness of voice-hearing in communities and providing sources of support (e.g. Hearing Voices Groups). The planned closure of HVN WA on 31 March would be a great loss to the International hearing voices community.
If you would like to support them, please consider signing this petition:
Information on the campaign – taken from Change.org.
Note: This text is created by the petition’s owner and does not belong to Intervoice. We are sharing it to support their campaign.
We are writing to petition for continued funding for the Hearing Voices Network in Western Australia. The Hearing Voices Network of Western Australia, which has been in existence for 17 years and currently has 9 groups that meet weekly, is scheduled to close on March 31, 2023. The Hearing Voices Groups are run by Richmond Wellbeing and are unique. They have not been replicated by other service providers in Western Australia. The groups are also free to attend.
These groups are designed to provide a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space for people who experience auditory hallucinations or “hearing voices”, see visions, and other unusual sensory experiences(such as smell and taste). In the groups, participants share their experiences with hearing voices and learn coping strategies from each other and from the facilitators. Meaningful relationships are built with others who understand what they are going through. What sets voice-hearing groups apart from other support groups is that they focus on understanding the experience of hearing voices rather than trying to eliminate the voices.
Hearing Voices groups are a powerful tool for advocating and raising awareness of auditory hallucinations by educating the public, outside providers, and future medical students. The Hearing Voices Network raises awareness of hearing voices by working closely with all Metropolitan Hospitals and speaking to inpatients monthly to provide knowledge and information about managing voice hearing. The Hearing Voice Network holds information sessions and workshops for clinicians upon request. The Hearing Voice Network also gives presentations to students at Notre Dame as part of their studies.
Cutting funding to these groups will have a detrimental effect on the mental well-being of our community. Without the support and resources offered by Hearing Voices Groups, there may be a decline in mental wellness, an increase in suicide and self-harm, and an increase in involuntary Mental Health Act admissions. In addition, psychiatrists and professionals will no longer know where to refer their clients, increasing pressure on their services, and future medical students will be ill-equipped.
Thank you for considering this program and giving people the opportunity to improve their lives. I hope you will join me in signing the petition so these groups can continue to provide the support our community needs.