Between January 2012 and December 2014, Mind in Camden ran the London Paranoia & Beliefs Project, with the aim of developing peer support groups across the capital for people experiencing paranoia. The project worked in collaboration with the National Paranoia Network who have run a Paranoia Group in Sheffield since 2004, and partnered a range of organisations across London to provide training and support for a sustainable network of groups (hosted by partner organisations and run independently). The London Paranoia & Beliefs Project was developed from the London Hearing Voices Project, whose work over the period 2006-10 had resulted in a currently-thriving network of over 40 Hearing Voices Groups.
What is a Paranoia & Beliefs Group?
Paranoia & Beliefs Groups are safe, supportive spaces where people meet to share their experiences and learn from one another. They provide opportunity to learn to cope with the distress related to beliefs – both where the belief itself is inherently distressing, and also where the distress can be a result of how those beliefs are viewed by others. It is widely accepted that fear, distress, isolation, stigma and hopelessness are barriers to recovery. Membership of a Paranoia & Beliefs Group, with its strong ethos of self help, can help reduce this. Groups are:
- Non-judgemental (based on mutual respect, empathy and acceptance)
- A safe space to explore meaning and content of experiences
- Based around the needs of the members
- Recovery-focused (seeing current distress as temporary and understandable)
- A supportive social network, embracing a diversity of views
- Open to all (regardless whether a person has a diagnosed mental health problem)
- Hopeful. Anyone – no matter how long they may have been struggling – can lead a meaningful, fulfilling life.
- Voluntary and confidential
- A group where everyone has expertise to contribute
They are not:
- A treatment or therapy group
- A place to pathologise or medicalise people’s thoughts and feelings
What Does the Network Offer?
The London Paranoia & Beliefs Network offers the following:
- Group Facilitation Training for professionals and/or service users wishing to develop a Paranoia & Beliefs Group — an opportunity for people both with lived experience of paranoia, and without it, to train together and discover common ground. See our Training & Events Calendar for upcoming trainings.
- Networking for group facilitators. The next Paranoia & Beliefs Network Meeting is announced on the Training & Events Calendar BUT YOU MUST PLEASE BOOK YOUR PLACE as venues are often space-limited, and we must be able to control numbers prior to the meeting. Book your place by calling 020 7241 8978 or emailing email@example.com
- Peer mentoring among facilitators to help new groups establish. We currently have a team of 4 peer mentors available to provide support to anyone setting up a Paranoia & Beliefs Group. If you would like to be put in touch, please contact John by calling 020 7241 8978 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Signposting to help you find a peer support group in your area. Download the list of groups here: LHVN hearing voices groups; paranoia groups
- Materials and resources to support the development of groups. THE FOLLOWING DOWNLOADS ARE AVAILABLE:
Resource Sheet Pitching & Promoting Your Group: Pitching and Promoting Your Group – resource sheet
Examples of group flyers:
Find Out More
If you would like to find out more about the Paranoia & Beliefs Network, please contact:
John Wetherell (Project Assistant, Mind in Camden Hearing Voices Projects )
T: 020 7241 8978 E: email@example.com