South Australian network for, by, and about people who hear voices and have other 'psychotic' experiences

Posts tagged ‘hearing voices’

World Hearing Voices Day


It is World Hearing Voices Day on September 14th, 2016. This year SA is fortunate to have a full day event ‘Many Voices Festival’ for the day!

This day was inspired by the award-winning documentary ‘HEALING VOICES’, and will feature TWO screenings of the film. HEALING VOICES is a feature-length documentary examining experiences commonly labelled as ‘psychosis’ or ‘mental illness’ in society, and a critical look at America’s broken mental health care system.

Hopgood Theatre, Ramsay Place, Noarlunga SA
Wednesday Sept 14th
FREE/gold coin donation
Event on Facebook

They believe that money shouldn’t be a barrier to being part of a community conversation about mental health. If you would like to generously help them out with covering their costs, thank you, donations are gladly accepted here:

In addition to two screenings of the film at 2:30pm and 7:00pm, the day will also feature:

  • Community conversations following each film screening
  • ‘The Voices of Tali’ theatre show, returning from Melbourne and as seen in Adelaide Fringe 2015!
  • A live dance performance by Jesse Rochow
  • Open Mic Storytelling – come and share your journey
  • Live art by Jungle Phillips and Fran-tastic!
  • Drumming/sound circle
  • The premiere of a locally written song ‘Voices’
  • Art exhibitions
  • Screen printing (bring along t-shirt to be printed on!)
  • Chillout zones
  • A raffle featuring prizes by printmaker and painter Janet Ayliffe, painter and wall artist Mimby Jones Robinson and potter, local ceramicist Suzy Fagan and tickets to a State Theatre Company production among other prizes.

Food and drink available

2:00pm: Live Music
2:30pm: HEALINGVOICES Film (first screening)
4:00pm: Many sounds circle (Foyer), and Quiet reflection on film (Main stage)
4:30pm: Open Mic Storytelling – Come and share your story!
5:30pm: Dance performance by Jesse Rochow
5:45pm: ‘The Voices of Tali’ theatre show
6:45pm: Premiere of the song ‘Voices’ and Live Music
7:00pm: HEALINGVOICES Film (second screening)
8:30pm – 9:30pm – Community conversation

This event is being hosted by Community Health Onkaparinga (CHO), sponsored by Country Arts SA and organised by passionate members of the Healing Voices Christies Beach Collective, who come from and work within various mental health settings across Adelaide.

I’ve reached out to offer support and inclusion with the HVNSA.

HVNSA Update

I am still running the HVNSA solo as best I can between other demands – such as the impending birth of my baby! It is at times challenging to keep up with email enquiries and I am hoping to put together a small email team I can forward these onto when I am struggling to respond – if you have experience with the hearing voices approach and would like to take part please get in touch.

It’s been wonderful to see that the southern groups and networks are developing and I’m hoping to be involved and find more opportunities to link in with their work.

I continue to maintain the online presence of the HVNSA and send out postcards and free welcome packs. I’ve also been picking up more public speaking work and have been pleased to tailor my Psychosis without Destruction talk for a number of different settings including carers groups, general practitioners, mental health workers, and community settings. It is a rare opportunity to share my lived experience, and challenge the idea that all psychosis is necessarily a destructive process.

The future of the HVNSA remains unclear, but the development of other local resources is encouraging and hopefully a path forwards to grow and sustain the network will become apparent in time. In the meantime I continue to ‘hold the space’.

New Resources

They are busy down south, there is now a new hearing voices group meeting weekly in Aldinga! 🙂

View or print a Flyer

  • Free
  • Facilitators: Berny, Matt, or Sharon
  • Meets Weekly at Galilee School Community Rooms, Lot 1 Quinliven Rd, Aldinga
  • Thursdays 11am – 12noon
  • All adults who experience voices, visions, or other unusual experiences are welcome
  • Please call to check the group is running before attending
    Sharon/Berny (08) 8322 0140, or Matt on (08) 8384 9599

For details of any groups in SA, check out our Support Groups page online.

Get Involved

Professor John Read and James Williams are asking for people to participate in their Survey “The experiences of Anti-depressant and Anti-psychotic Medication”.  Taking part involves answering an anonymous survey about your experiences with these medications. You can complete the survey online. It takes approximately 30-45 minutes. Not all questions will be relevant to everyone, so the time taken will be different for each person. For more information and the survey itself go here.

ISPS Australia (International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis) have their beautiful new website up and running: They run online forums, organise events, and publish a journal which members receive. Well worth being involved.

The Hearing Voices Cafe London is a tumblr site looking for people to contribute something about Hearing Voices (a poem, some experiences, an image, a quote, a link to a website or video) so please consider getting involved or have a look at what others have shared:

Call for contributions for an exhibition about hearing voices, in November by Paul Baker. Please see this link for more details: and to ask questions or get involved, please contact Paul directly on

Media & Publications

The effectiveness of services led or run by consumers in mental health – a literature review by Mary O’Hagan and Flick Grey – both respected researchers with a lived experience of mental distress.


“Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.” -Saint Augustine

Best wishes,


So much News for June!

It has been busy in the world of Voice Hearing in SA!

HVNSA Update

Firstly – we have a new Postcard to advertise our services! You can request some to hand out – they cost me around $25 – $30 for a pack of 100, so if you can contribute anything towards the printing costs that’s really appreciated – but if you can’t ask for some anyway and I’ll post them to you. 🙂 You can also share a pdf image of them via email – that’s available here.


The latest potential board meeting to incorporate concluded with some of those involved preferring not to be part of a board but to offer other support. At this stage the HVNSA will continue as a community network personally supported by Sarah and my facepainting business – all contributions, financial and your time and expertise, very appreciated! If you wish to send money for HVNSA resources please clearly indicate that is what it is for, payment details are here. Conversations about setting up a board for this and my other networks are ongoing.

Our New Resources

We have a new Facebook Discussion Group of our own! Hearing Voices Network SA Join in to share information or get involved in our projects. 🙂

You may not be aware we now also have linked in with a Hearing Voices Group that is running in Murray Bridge. 🙂 Michael Spurrier is one of the facilitators, he has shared some of his personal experience of psychosis, as a short extract from his book here. His book, The Lived Experience of Schizoaffective Disorder can be found here.

Phil Benjamin from ISPS was kind enough to compile an online conversation about how to facilitate a hearing voices group into this document to share.


My (Sarah’s) free talk Psychosis without Destruction was extremely well received! I am currently booked to deliver it to staff at the Northern Mental Health Team and conversations with other organisations are ongoing. If you would like to have this talk delivered for your organisation, please get in touch my fee is negotiable and can be waived entirely in some circumstances.

The ISPS conference in Melbourne was amazing, a fantastic resource for research and approaches to psychosis. I have been invited to be a consultant to the board in some capacity and look forward to a fruitful relationship!

Local HVN advocate Matt Ball will be travelling to Scotland to deliver a keynote at a Working to Recovery camp, about how the lived experience has informed his role as a practitioner. He’ll also be running workshops on the use of the Maastricht interview in clinical practice with people who hear voices.

A local nurse and psychiatric registrar are working towards submitting a research proposal looking at the value of facilitating the Maastricht interview in community mental health teams. They are hoping to begin the research project before the end of 2015 and will keep us posted. 🙂


The 3rd Sustainable Mental Health – Sustainable Communities Conference is now open for registrations. 25-26th of June, in Port Lincoln. I will be there as will many other fantastic people. There is currently a two-for-one offer at $75 per head! For more information see this flyer or contact

There are also still a couple of places available for the Hearing Voices Workshops with Arana Pearson, preferably for people with a lived experience of hearing distressing voices – these are FREE places. For more information, please contact

Douglas Holmes and Arana Pearson have a project and they’d love to hear from people with a lived experience. They are aiming to compose a book of 50 anthologies of people who hear voices or did hear voices and have benefited from the ‘accepting voices’ approach. For more information, please see their survey and information pages here. If you would like to be involved but need support to get your story online to send to them – contact your local hearing voices group for assistance.


Voices have been in the media a lot lately! This is largely due to some research you can read about:

ABC report on the research:

Radio National – a great interview to listen to, with Lyn Mahboub from the Hearing Voices Network in Perth, and ISPS

SANE have also done some great work promoting stories of lived experience and schizophrenia:

A New ‘Soteria House’ – an inpatient care program supporting people in crisis with a focus on relationships rather than medication, has open in Vermont. Learn more about it and the history of Soteria Houses here:



“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.”
― George Carlin

Take care, get involved, and say hello!


Fantastic Events in SA!

Hello friends of the HVNSA,

It’s been a busy and productive couple of months!

HVNSA Board and Structure

We have been meeting with interested people about the future of the HVNSA, and drawing inspiration from a number of books and models of small scale social entrepreneurship. We have made links to existing networks such as Community Health Onkaparinga. No incorporation has happened as we are still finding solutions to the problems of a board of keen but very busy people with many existing commitments in their work. Please do not be concerned about this – if we cannot bring together the support to start a board, we will instead continue for now as a part of Sarah’s business. In that case we’ll be unable to seek grant money and will need to raise funds through other means, but the ‘freeze’ on projects will be lifted either way very soon and people can get involved with supporting the existing resources and helping develop more. 🙂


Sarah will be offering a free talk Psychosis without Destruction at Mifsa, Wayville on May 27th.

The busy people at the UniSA Department of Rural Health in partnership with the PIR program are putting together a conference called Walk the Talk of service integration. It will be on the 25 & 26 June, in Pt Lincoln SA. Contact Sarah or watch this space for more details.

UniSA Department of Rural Health is also running a 4 day Train the Trainer workshop about voice hearing called Hearing Voices that are Distressing – a simulated training program. It will be on the 23-24 and the 29-30 June at UniSA Whyalla Campus. There are a few subsidized places available for people with lived experience or peer workers on low incomes. This hands on, experiential learning workshop will provide you with the knowledge and experience to work with ongoing delivery of the simulation training program in South Australia. Facilitated by Arana Pearson.


  • Practical experience of delivering the training
  • Time to explore your own strengths being a facilitator of training
  • Sound knowledge base of the topic
  • Supportive training with your peers

Sarah will be at all of these events and would love to touch base and catch up with any HVNSA friends there! 🙂

New Resources

Some people who hear voices are experiencing some form of multiplicity. These people may hear ‘parts’, sometimes children or babies who cry, talk, scream, and communicate. For more information and resources about multiplicity, please see the sister network The Dissociative Initiative (DI). Jade is a volunteer admin for the DI Online Discussion Group one who has recently published 2 books. Here’s a little more about her:

Jade Miller is a blogger, artist, SRA survivor, and member of a poly- fragmented DID system. She desires to bring education and awareness about the reality of SRA/DID to the public and increase the number and availability of resources to survivors for healing. Jade has experienced a very diverse life, from living on an agriculturally oriented farm to an inner city apartment to brief homelessness in her more turbulent younger years. She has been in various hospitals and treatment centers for a wide variety of mental health diagnoses since the age of 12 and is now, as an adult, living from a place of continually increasing health and joy. She wishes to use her experiences to help other people who struggle. She wrote Dear Little Ones to help young alters understand Dissociative Identity Disorder, and she wrote Pieces of Me as a more personal look into her healing journey.

Finish with a Quote

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. -Lao Tzu

Take care all,

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