World Hearing Voices Day celebrates hearing voices as part of the diversity of human experience, increasing awareness of the fact that you can hear voices and be healthy. It challenges negative attitudes towards people who hear voices and the incorrect assumption that hearing voices, in itself, is a sign of illness. Well it is not. This day is inspired by Louise Pembroke, a voice hearer and psychiatric survivor from England. The World Hearing Voices Day is celebrated worldwide since 2006.
The International Hearing Voices Movement consists of diverse conversations, initiatives, groups and individuals around the world that share some core values and that includes hearing voices, seeing visions and related phenomena that are meaningful experiences that be understood in many ways. Hearing Voices is not, in itself an indication of illness – but difficulties coping with voices can cause great distress; when people are overwhelmed by their experiences and support offered should be based on respect, empathy, informed choice and an understanding of the personal meaning voices have in someone’s life.
Some essential facts:
- Studies have found that between 4 and 10 per cent of people across the world hear voices
- Between 70 and 90 cent of people who hear voices do so following traumatic events
- Voices can be male, female, without gender, child, adult, human or non-human
- People may hear one voice or many. Some people report hearing hundreds, although in almost all reported cases, one dominates above the others
- Voices can be experienced in the head, in the ears, outside the head, in some other part of the body or in the environment
- Voices can reflect important aspects of hearer’s emotional state – emotions that are often unexpressed by the hearer
Apax is part of the Hearing Voices Movement as also the London Hearing Voices Network as we are hosting Hearing Voices Group in our Accommodations. Today we are recognising the day by hosting a picnic with our residents in the park. The event includes conversations about today’s day, team-building, fun activities with snacks and refreshments.