Richmond Hearing Voices Friendship Group

The English Hearing Voices Network are one of many similar networks around the world.  The statistics vary, but somewhere between 3 and 10% of the population hear voices, see visions or have similar sensory experiences (increasing to about 75% if you include one off experiences like hearing someone call your name out loud). Despite being relatively common, many people who hear voices, see visions or have similar experiences feel alone. Fear of prejudice, discrimination, and being dismissed as ‘crazy’ can keep people silent. At a time when we are told that it is ‘time to talk’, it is important that anyone courageous enough to speak out is met with respect and empathy.

People of all ages and backgrounds can hear voices at some point in their life, for many different reasons. Whilst some are distressed by their experiences, people can – and do – find ways of living with them.

We focus on helping to create respectful and empowering spaces, whilst challenging the inequalities & oppressive practices that hold people back.

Our aims are to:

  • Raise awareness of the diversity of voices, visions and similar experiences
  • Challenge negative stereotypes, stigma and discrimination
  • Help create more spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds to talk freely about voice-hearing, visions and similar sensory experiences
  • Raise awareness of a range of different ways to manage distressing, confusing or difficult voices
  • Encourage a more positive response to voice-hearing and related experiences in healthcare settings and wider society