Hearing Voices: Prisons & Secure Units

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Voices Unlocked, Mind in Camden’s Hearing Voices: Prisons & Secure Units project was launched in April 2010. It is a ground-breaking and innovative project, establishing a network of Hearing Voices peer support groups in prisons and secure units throughout London and beyond. This network, the first of its kind, now includes Hearing Voices groups in HMP Bronzefield, HMP Gartree, HMP Highdown, HMP Pentonville, HMP Wandsworth, HMP Winchester and HMP Wormwood Scrubs among others. Groups in medium and high secure units include those at the Allington Centre, Chase Farm Hospital, Kneesworth House Hospital and Springfield Hospital. The project is now extending into Immigration Removal Centres.

Voices Unlocked has trained over a thousand prison and secure unit staff  and worked with numerous partners. We offer a variety of free training courses, from an Introduction to Hearing Voices, to Group Facilitation training, to more specialist training such as Working with Young Offenders who Hear Voices. We also offer bespoke in-house training. To find out more, please email us.

Since the beginning of the project, we have supported more than a thousand people to talk about their experiences, make sense of them and support one another in safe, non-judgemental spaces. For many, a Hearing Voices group in prison is the first time they have talked about their experience. We aim to consolidate and grow the network, providing more support, connection and hope for the thousands of people who hear voices, see visions or have distressing beliefs in prison.

To find out more, please click here.

Project Aims & Objectives

Aims

To establish a trained, supported and sustainable network of Hearing Voices Groups in prisons and secure environments which is well linked to the Hearing Voices Network in order to:

  • Empower people in prison to take control of their voice-hearing experience and to learn ways of understanding and coping with them
  • Reduce the distress, fear and stigma experienced by voice-hearers within the prison system
  • Ensure that those involved in the project are connected to the Hearing Voices Network, preferably with the contact details of a specific group, on leaving prison

Objectives

Developing and supporting self help groups for people in prison/secure environments who hear voices, see visions and have other unusual sensory perceptions by learning how to:

  • Stimulate interest and commitment from prisons, secure environments and voluntary agencies that work within them throughout London, the Home Counties and to other parts of the UK
  • Work alongside these organisations to set up well-facilitated Hearing Voices peer support groups
  • Train and support those already working in prisons as group facilitators (including regular peer support meetings, one to one support and a buddying scheme)
  • Collate examples of good practice and distribute them in the form of guidelines, articles, training and a ‘how to’ guide for group facilitators

If you would like to find out more about our work, please contact:

Akiko Hart (Project Manager)

T: 020 7911 0822, E: ahart@mindincamden.org.uk

Eve Mundy (Development Worker)

T: 020 7911 0822, E: emundy@mindincamden.org.uk