Sharing Power: Sustaining the Roots of Peer Support in Statutory Services

February 24, 2020 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Kingsley Hall Community Centre
Powis Road London E3 3HJ
John Wetherell
020 7241 8978

Voice Collective and Voices Unlocked are teaming up to deliver this FREE half-day conference.
Over the last 15 years, Mind in Camden’s Hearing Voices projects have set up Hearing Voices groups and developed critical mental health training/workshops within an ideological framework determined by a grass roots peer support ethos. These trainings and groups have included training around how gender identity may impact someone’s experience in services, launching groups specifically for women, and highlighting the importance of inclusivity around trans issues.
We’ve also taken this ethos with us into our work developing groups in a range of settings including: prisons, immigration removal centres, secure units, youth offending services, CAMHS inpatient and outpatient services, and youth centres.
We’ll be reflecting on the value and challenges of setting up and facilitating Hearing Voices peer support groups in institutional settings:

• Can a ‘real’ Hearing Voices group take place in statutory services? Or is their radical nature too diluted?
• What are the particular challenges of facilitating a peer support group for paid staff, volunteers or service users?
• Are there specific considerations for Hearing Voices groups in youth services? How do we safeguard yet allow for positive risk taking in these types of groups?
• What can we do if we feel we’re the only one in our community, organisation or workplace with an interest in Hearing Voices groups or other ‘alternative’ approaches?

Join us for an afternoon opened by keynote speaker Mirabai Swingler. You’ll have the chance to join one of two workshops, we’ll end the day with a panel discussion.

Who is the conference for?
The conference is for anyone who may have experienced or observed the challenge of retaining peer support values in institutional settings. Voice hearers and those with lived experience of distress or unusual sensory experiences are especially welcome.
You may be someone whose work and passion for peer support and/or Hearing Voices Groups embeds you within an institution, or you may work directly for the institution itself — for example, supporting children and young people, women, young offenders, people impacted by the justice system, or refugees and asylum seekers of all ages.
Examples of relevant organisations where peer support initiatives are often hosted can be CAMHS, youth services, prison/secure settings, immigration removal centres, organisations working with refugees & asylum seekers, schools, universities, hospitals and mental health services. Equally this half-day may also be of interest, if you are involved in an independent peer-led group in the community.

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