Jacqui Dillon on RTE.ie Radio 1 talking about Hearing Voices

What do you hear when you stop and listen to what’s going on in your head? A song that was on the radio yesterday? A snippet of this mornings conversation with your sister? Or nothing….? Are you debating the best route to take home? Are you saying a prayer? What does that sound like?

Jacqui Dillon hears voices. In her head. Lots of them.Voices that sound as real as you or me. Voices that wake her up. Voices that tell her to go to sleep. Voices that disagree with her, and voices that encourage her. And the voices have been there for as long as she can remember.So you might think Jacqui is mad, but this is the story of a woman who has come a long way with the voices in her head.

Twenty years ago Jaqqui’s experience of her voices drove her to psychiatric services…. and that’s where the story really begins because it was when she was told that the voices weren’t real, and that she was lying about her past that she really began to get mad. And that’s when Jacqui realised she had to learn to live with her voices and understand why they were there.

This is a story about hearing voices and about learning to live with them. A story about how your past shapes your future until you start to understand it .

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to hear voices, or have always thought that people who hear voices are plain mad, this documentary just might make you think twice.

Jacqui Dillon is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England. She is Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London.

Narrated and produced by Leeanne O’Donnell

Production Supervision by Liam O’Brien

Click here for more information on Hearing Voices Network

Click here for more information on Jacqui Dillon

First Broadcast December 7th 2013

‘Documentary on One is the home of Irish radio documentaries and the largest library of documentary podcasts available anywhere in the world. We tell stories in sound, mostly Irish ones, and each documentary tells its own story’

Listen:

You can listen here: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/radio-documentary-sounds-mad-hearing-voices-psychology.html

Keynote Talk on Demedicalising Distress in Powys, September 2013

Watch my recent talk on Demedicalising Distress in Powys on YouTube.

http://youtu.be/JHzHliy5yeQ

The Powys Mental Health team invites you to a free conference they are organising in in Llandrindod Wells.

Shaping Services Together.

  • Should the question underpinning how we shape our mental health services be “what has happened to you” rather than “what is wrong with you”?  Main Speaker Jacqui Dillon.
  • Do you use or have you ever used mental health services or are you close  to someone who has?  Do you think that your experiences of mental  health services could help change how services are planned and  delivered?
  • Do you want to know how you, no matter what your age, might become more involved in shaping our mental health services nationally and locally?
  • Key decision makers coming. Do you have something to say about the welfare benefit system and the changes?

Everyone welcome, all you need is you to be interested in the questions above. We can provide free transport to you if you live in Powys.

Lunch and refreshments will be available.

Thursday, 19th September 2013, 10:15 a.m – 4:00 p.m. The Pavilion, Spa Road, Llandrindod Wells, Powys LD1 5EY

To Book or find out more call Glynis Luke on 01597 822 191 or email her at pamhinfo@pavo.org.uk or book online here This is your opportunity to debate and communicate directly with national and local decision makers about mental health services.

Our keynote speaker is Jacqui Dillon, writer, campaigner, international speaker and trainer.

English poster here and leaflet here.  Welsh poster here and leaflet here

This is one of three conferences across Wales funded and supported by Welsh Government and Public HealtH Wales.  The other two are:

  • Thurs 12th September in Rhyl called Measuring Up.  More here.
  • Wed 23rd October in Cardiff called Know Your Rights.  More here.

These events are part of the Stronger in Partnership initiative, you can find out more about Powys Stronger in Partnership here.

You can download some information about the event here and there is more on our blog here.

Booking for the event is now open – click here.

 

Treatment Gap: The Truth about Mental Health

If you habbc_world_serviceve a mental health problem, where you live in the world makes a big  difference to the care you receive. In many lower and middle income countries,  three-quarters of people with mental health problems don’t have access to  mainstream mental health services. Even in wealthier, developed countries, the figure is close to 50%.

Claudia Hammond investigates some of the alternatives that occupy this ‘treatment gap’.

Psychiatrist Dr Monique Mutheru is one of just 25 psychiatrists in Kenya. In the absence of services to  meet the mental health needs of Kenyans, traditional healers and witchdoctors  play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating them. Claudia examines a programme which brings health workers and traditional healers together. It provides training for traditional healers to refer their severely ill patients to the clinic and avoid harmful practices that some healers carry out, such as lobotomy and bloodletting.

Even in developed countries like the United Kingdom, where mental health services are freely available, some people with mental health problems feel that the treatments do not help. The Hearing Voices Network provides support to ‘voice hearers’, through support groups, helping them to manage and engage with the voices that trouble them.

You can listen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01b35lq

How much evidence is required for a paradigm shift?

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica

‘Commentary on “Does social defeat mediate the association
between childhood trauma and psychosis?”:

How much evidence is required for a paradigm shift?’

 

Psychosis Journal Cover

Editorial: Voices in a Positive Light

 

Psychosis Journal Cover

 

What does it mean to think of voices ‘in a positive light’?

 

For the contributors to this first special issue of Psychosis, it means challenging any model that understands voice-hearing solely as the meaning-less symptom of an underlying disease, deficit, or dysfunction. Mainstream biomedical psychiatry’s account of auditory verbal hallucinations we regard as phenomenologically impoverished, actively disempowering, over-invested in unsupportable distinctions between ‘normal’ and ‘pathological’ voices, and ill-equipped to investigate or make sense of what is now known about the link between voice-hearing and people’s life experiences. As a result, its efforts to midwife recovery from the impairment that can be caused by some voices are at best incomplete and, at worse, actively harmful. Without downplaying the need for further investigation and critique of these dominant models, our goal in this special issue is to foreground positive approaches both to the experience of hearing voices and to the way this is conceptualised and researched.

 

 

 

Psychosis Journal Cover

Hearing Voices Peer Support Groups: A Powerful Alternative for People in Distress

Psychosis Journal CoverABSTRACT:

Hearing voices peer support groups offer a powerful alternative to mainstream psychiatric approaches for understanding and coping with states typically diagnosed as “hallucination”.  In this jointly authored first-person account, we distill what we have learned from 10 years of facilitating and training others to facilitate these groups and what enables them to work most effectively in the long term. Having witnessed the transformative power of these groups for people long considered unreachable as well as for those who receive some benefit from standard psychiatric treatment, we describe effects that cannot easily be quantified or studied within traditional research paradigms. We explain the structure and function of hearing voices peer support groups and the importance of training facilitators to acquire the skills necessary to ensure that groups operate safely, democratically, and in keeping with the theories and principles of the Hearing Voices Network.  The greater use of first-person experience as evidence in deciding what works or doesn’t work for people in extreme distress is advocated; randomized designs or statistically significant findings cannot constitute the only bases for clinical evaluations.

 

Just Saying It As It Is: Names matter; Language Matters; Truth Matters

Clinical language has colonised experiences of mental distress and alienation. Consequently, many accounts of healing and recovery seem to be about a decolonising process, a reclaiming of experience (Dillon and May, 2002). These counter narratives, which offer diverse representations of survival in adversity (hooks, 1993), follow in a long tradition of protest literature (Hornstein, 2002). From slavery abolitionists and suffragettes, to feminists and black and gay civil rights activists, who have repudiated dominant, oppressive ideologies via the language of discrimination, to challenge injustice. Many of us within mental health activism have argued that it is crucial to decolonise the medicalised language of human experience in order to contest the dominant paradigm of the biomedical model of madness and distress. After all, fighting for the rights of those labelled mentally ill, is the last great civil rights movement (Dillon et al, 2013).

Just Saying It As It Is: Names matter; Language Matters; Truth Matters

 

 

Clinical language has colonised experiences of mental distress and alienation. Consequently, many accounts of healing and recovery seem to be about a decolonising process, a reclaiming of experience (Dillon and May, 2002). These counter narratives, which offer diverse representations of survival in adversity (hooks, 1993), follow in a long tradition of protest literature (Hornstein, 2002). From slavery abolitionists and suffragettes, to feminists and black and gay civil rights activists, who have repudiated dominant, oppressive ideologies via the language of discrimination, to challenge injustice. Many of us within mental health activism have argued that it is crucial to decolonise the medicalised language of human experience in order to contest the dominant paradigm of the biomedical model of madness and distress. After all, fighting for the rights of those labelled mentally ill, is the last great civil rights movement (Dillon et al, 2013).