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Her impact will be felt for a long time to come.
Jacqui visited our little corner of the world for the first time this March. During her visit, I had the opportunity to witness her in many roles: Facilitator at a small training, speaker at two large events, and as a wonderful human being during all the spaces in between. Whatever role she was in, Jacqui was engaging and down-to-earth. She offered her perspective in a way that was accessible to all and – in some instances – lead to perceptible changes in the way people regarded others or themselves, their lives and the potential for their future.
Following Jacqui’s visit, more than one individual went out of their way to report that they felt she was the best speaker they’d been offered the opportunity to experience. Several individuals began brainstorming ways to bring Jacqui back to the area in the future to reach even more people before she’d even departed. Ultimately, her presence, personal story and unwavering values helped to strengthen our community and build momentum for change and the development of the Hearing Voices Network in the Unites States. Her impact will be felt for a long time to come.
She gives us all deep insights, courage, and powerful ideas.
We have been gifted to have Jacqui deliver training for us in Melbourne, Australia, and look forward to her third installment in May this year.
Jacqui’s messages continue to resonate here in Australia, and we are so happy to see more and more mental health workers willing to work with the impacts of trauma.
People who have attended Jacqui’s training tell us frequently how deeply it has affected them, and how much they have learnt, and changed, as a result. She gives us all deep insights, courage, and powerful ideas.
Don’t stop this important work Jacqui – your gifts are immeasurable!
Transforming pain and loss into a force for good
I have had the pleasure of hearing Jacqui speak on numerous occasions, and – once – the honour of running a training programme with her, for 100 psychiatrists – on when and how to take abuse histories. Jacqui is a remarkable person who knows how to harness pain and loss and transform it into a force for good.
I can unreservedly recommend her to anyone considering running a mental health training or education event. You will be inspired and informed at the same time.
She is able to touch the heart of things.
Talking once about our dreams for Intervoice, Jacqui simply said: “Change the world”. When you hear this from her mouth you can tell from the tone she means it. A split second, just before her familiar contagious laugh, her eyes had a determination like a winning athlete in a marathon run. This is not only about a dream, but a personal attitude. One with many perspectives.
During the years I have witnessed many workshops and lectures from Jacqui. They repeatedly evoked a kind of another state of mind. She is really able to transform the political to the personal. Everytime I felt touched and taken. In most audiences I heard people tell me: “I want to stand up like her”. She motivates others to make the personal political. To speak out. She uses her constructive anger to push even the most hard-boiled egg to humanity. Politely but determined she is able to break down certain explicit and implicit practices of traditional psychiatry. Jacqui opens our eyes for what we know but don’t like to see. She is able to touch the heart of things. Her voice inspires to care.
A role model in the Hearing Voices Movement
For us Jacqui is unique and it is a great pleasure having known her for many reasons personally as well professionally. Jacqui survived terrible abuse and became strong by using her experience to learn from it. She is one of the few people who is able to really understand that the voices are related to her life history and even more important allow herself to feel it. This combination of understanding on a rational and emotional level became her power. This also enables her to be the caring mother of 2 teenage daughters.
As a professional from experience Jacqui is a role model in the Hearing Voices Movement. She has developed a qualitatively very good course in setting up and guiding Hearing Voices Groups. She has helped many individuals to better cope with their voices and their problems in their lives. She is a very good speaker and has a lot to tell about the voice hearing experience and their backgrounds. She has written many very good articles and book chapters. She especially clearly explains the interaction between different consequences of traumatic experiences like hearing voices, dissociation, self harm and eating disorders. She has a lot to give and a lot to teach professionals and also voice hearers. Besides all this she is Chairing the English Hearing Voices Movement and a member of the Board of Intervoice.
An extremely effective developer of services
I have known Jacqui Dillon for several years now — we first met in the early 2000s when she attended the London-based Critical Mental Health Forum, in which I was also involved. Jacqui has been an extremely effective developer of services in the third sector. She developed the London Hearing Voices Project and has also chaired the national Hearing Voices Network for several years.
She is a thoughtful and innovative worker who builds good collaborative relationships both with those who use mental health services and with mental health professionals. She has also been very effective in securing funding for those organisations with which she works.
I work on a clinical psychology training programme and Jacqui has taught sessions on a range of topics on our programme for several years now. Trainees have said that she is a very engaging and inspiring speaker who also has lots of practical advice about how to bring change in mental health services.
When I’ve seen Jacqui speak I also have been moved and inspired. Given her earlier career as a journalist it is no surprise that she has been doing more writing, recently co-editing Living with Voices. She has a national and international reputation and is approached by a range of media organisations for comments in relation to voice hearing and mental health more generally.
A highly skilled, empathic teacher
I have employed Jacqui Dillon on a number of occasions, both as a trainer of mental health-care workers, and as a workshop facilitator with professional and service-user participation.
Jacqui is a highly skilled, empathic teacher who through her work and experience is an inspiration and motivator to all, promoting innovation and much-needed change in the way we approach psychiatry today.