A number of gatherings were held last year to gather ideas and feedback for our local SA network. There’s a lot of excitement about it and several projects have been suggested. People are volunteering time and interest in supporting them and I’d love to hear from you if something sounds like it’s for you. Some of these are little, some are big, some will sit well within an existing organisation, some will need funding, some can be done by someone with some admin skills and access to a computer. So please, sing out!
- Professional Support Referral Directory – to set up a comprehensive directory so that people can find counsellors, psychologists, GP’s and so on who are familiar with or open to the Hearing Voices Movement approaches.
- Welcome Packs – to write and set for printing a welcome pack of materials that can be hosted by any community or mental health organisation and is suitable for people with lived experience, family, or professionals as an introduction to the experiences and approaches. Similar to the DI Welcome Pack. Also – free resource packs designed for specific groups eg a “How to set up your own HV group” pack or “How to be an ally” pack
- Melbourne Declaration – to take this document to local organisations, explain the HVN and ask them to sign up!
- Website Development – upgrading, new domain, possibly self hosted. Giving us a professional look and making us easy to find and navigate online!
- Peer Support Network – linking in a network of people who can be contacted for personal support and referral, especially as a first point of contact with people who don’t know where to look next for SA resources
- Video Channel – telling people’s stories, answering common questions from different perspectives to show diverse experiences, creating free resources
- Library and Resources – making our library more accessible and easier for people to find, browse, and borrow. Growing our library! Seeking funding to develop our resources so that we can offer them freely.
- Talks, workshops, and forums – linking in to existing resources so we can publicise what others are already doing! Also looking for partnerships to offer our own, share our library, and host screening nights for our DVDs or Video Channel clips we’ve made.
- Marketing Supplies – people need to know we’re here! That means we need brochures, flyers and so on that can be given to other orgs, pinned on notice boards, and shared around. We may also wish to officially ‘launch’ the SA network and invite people and media to come and learn more about us
- Fundraising – people have been volunteering services and ideas, we need to put a few together and make something happen.
We’ve also been talking about how to structure ourselves as a network. There are a number of options available to us including:
- Staying a loose collective of people who come together on specific projects, either voluntary, employed in their existing capacity, or as independent contractors drawing on specific funding.
- Becoming a not for profit organisation. We assemble a board who understand the aims and process of the HVN’s and gather funds to employ or collaborate with people in other employment for projects. The Dissociative Initiative has already incorporated and could host the HVNSA as a state wide project.
- Becoming a company – essentially how the HVN runs currently in SA is as a part of my own personal business. I make profits in some areas to support free resources in others.
Each of these has pros and cons! If you have any thoughts or experience we would love to hear from you. We already have some donations waiting for us to straighten this out and set up a specific bank account, which is deeply appreciated and very exciting!
I am personally committing one day a week this semester voluntary to the HVN to help get things up and running. Thankyou kindly for all your encouragement and support!