A recent report from the Ministry of Justice suggests that 25% of women, and 15% of men, in prison report symptoms ‘indicative of psychosis’ (including hearing voices or seeing visions). Given the prevalence of these experiences, it seems strange that until the launch of our Hearing Voices: Prisons & Secure Units project, prisons were one of the few places that hadn’t yet taken on Hearing Voices Groups as a method of support.
I’m happy to say that, following the launch of our project in 2010, that has changed. There are now 5 Hearing Voices Groups in London’s prisons (HMP Holloway, HMP Wandsworth, HMP Bronzefield and HMP Pentonville).
You can find out more about these groups by watching our short film, below.
Yesterday, almost 60 people from a range of organisations from across the country met together at our Voices: Unlocked conference to explore ways we can support people who hear voices in prison and secure forensic services. The day was a huge success, bringing together people from prisons, secure units, NHS, government and the voluntary sector to meet important issues head on.
Themes included: supporting people who hear violent voices, that either tell them to hurt themselves or others; working with trauma and self harm; ways of equipping prison officers with the empathy, understanding and tools they need to support people in distress; the potential of peer support to effect transformation; pathways, and blocks, to recovery.
We will be writing a more comprehensive report of the day in the coming weeks, but until then I hope that the film is of interest to you. Please feel free to share it far and wide.
We are currently fundraising to work with the National Hearing Voices Network to roll this approach out to prisons and secure units across the country.
If you’d like to find out more, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org