|Annual Intervoice Meeting & International Congress
19-21 September 2012
The 25th anniversary of the founding of the the Hearing Voices movement was celebrated in Cardiff, Wales in September. Over two hundred people gathered for a programme that was exciting, challenging and moving,
There were keynote speeches from Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher describing the history of the movement that started in their home and now has spread across the world. They paid tribute to the many people who have had a key role to play in the movement's expansion. The conference also looked to the future and on the final day, the Intervoice Board announced the launch of a "One of a Million" campaign which seeks to recruit a million people (at least) who will pledge their support for the movement.
Other keynote speeches were wide-ranging and provoked lively discussion. Topics included: hearing voices and spirituality; the relationship between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the Hearing Voices movement; "100 years of schizophrenia"; whether constructs and formulation are an alternative to diagnosis? International speakers described the Voices at Work project in Australia; working in group psychotherapy with people with psychosis in Spain and an Austrian perspective on voice hearing and human rights.
There were opportunities for sharing and learning in open sessions and parallel workshops: descriptions of on-going projects; updates on research; and listening to people's stories. Congress had a great feeling of solidarity, warmth and caring. There was also a great party showcasing a range of musical and dancing talents
Many thanks are due to the hosts and organisers: the Hearing Voices Network Cymru, Working to Recovery and Asylum Associates - It was a fantastic success!
A full description of this year's Congress will be available soon on the Intervoice website.
To join the One of a Million Campaign see: www.intervoiceonline.org
Belgium: the first ever Belgian Hearing Voices group has been set up in a psychiatric nursing home in Brussels: "Entendeurs de Voix" - the group has been running for several months.
Uganda: "I can't wait to join an HV Group!" Jim Taylor has sent a report of lauching a Hearing Voices group in Kampala which was attended by 60 people. Follow this link for the full story: www.intervoiceonline.org/?p=3656
Kenya: www.normal-difference.org is the recently launched website of the Kenyan network. The international launch of their new documentary took place at the International Congress on 21st September.
Greece: the Greek Network reports a worrying development:the Golden Dawn movement is a neo-Nazi group in Greece which discusses on its website bringing back the extermination of mental patients and physically disabled people. They feature a 1985-paper of a French “professor” under the title “Democracy condemns innocent beings to lifelong torture” – it follows the same rationale and “altruistic” cover up of Nazi Germany where it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of inpatients from German psychiatric hospitals were exterminated.
USA: Folks from Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota are planning to start an HVN Midwest network. (With a collaborative website and possible virtual (Skype) meetings to include voice hearers & facilitators living in communities without a local group.) If you live in the Midwest and are interested, please contact us (contact info at http://www.chicagohearingvoices.org/). Thanks!
Denmark:The Danish Hearing Voices Network was awarded the psychosocial rehabilitation ”Flying Pig” award (Oscar) at their yearly conference with over 400 people attending. This was the first time this award was presented so we are super proud to have been chosen!! Jørn, as founder of the Danish HVN accepted the award on behalf of the HVN (Olga Runciman reports on Facebook)
Italy: Glenda, Alessandra & Marcello from the Italian Hearing Voices Network presented at the 2012 World Association Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Congress, supported by Dirk Corstens & Rachel Waddingham.
News from the intervoice Board
Eleanor Longden has now joined the Board. She is also the Chair of the Intervoice Research Committee and is very well known on the international stage.
Patrick Le Cardinal (psychiatrist, EPSM Lille Metropole/WHO Collaborating Centre, France) has joined the Research Committee.
Intervoice conducted a survey earlier in the year to find out your views and ideas for the way forward. The survey is now complete and the results are available on the website: www.intervoiceonline.org/about-intervoice/2012-survey Thank you to everyone who took part.