PLEASE NOTE: We are not currently recruiting for new Board Members. Our focus is currently on strengthening the Charter to support national groups and training, and strengthening our infrastructure. We hope to begin new recruitment to expand geographical and other representation as soon as possible, and will release a recruitment announcement as soon as that process begins.

International Consultants:

 

 

 

Brenda Hammond

brenda hammond 1Brenda Hammond is an LCSW who lives in Northern Idaho and has been facilitating a Voice Hearers group since 2010. Her interest in hearing voices and other unusual experiences began in the early 90’s when her oldest daughter began having such episodes. Then her youngest daughter, who is a mental health clinician in Australia, heard Jacqui Dillon speak at a conference about the Hearing Voices movement in the UK. She sent for books and information and then started a group in Idaho with several of her own clients plus several others in the community. The group is still going—some people have come and gone—and some of the original group still attend weekly. There is a real scarcity of mental health services in Northern Idaho, and she is hoping that she can help recruit others who will start groups in other places. She can see how much the peer support is helpful, and wants very much to help provide that kind of support for individudals who are isolated by their experiences and by the societal stigma that exists around hearing voices—even among mental health providers. Brenda attended the Maastricht Interview training in MA last October—and hopes that trainings like that as well as facilitator training can be offered in other parts of the country.

 

 

Jeannie Bass

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Voices of Reason: Jeannie Bass works as a Peer Specialist at a psych hopsital in Massachusetts. DIscovering the freedoms offered by the hearing voices movement sparked a life for her based on choice and autonomy both with her voices and beyond.

Jeannie is passionate about the exploration of uniques experiences (that mpst often get labeled as "psychosis"), human rights & making visible the often-overlooked lives emerging from the shadows of madness.

 

 

Kate Hill

 

Kate is a consultant specializing in voices, visions and extreme states of mind and has been an educator of Hearing Voices group facilitation and related topics since 2012. She has been a member ofKate Hill Portland Hearing Voices (www.portlandhearingvoices.net) since 2009 and served as director from 2014-2018. She also holds a seat on Disability Rights of Oregon's Mental Health Advocacy Committee. Kate graduated from psychology programs at both Portland State University and the Process Work Institute in Portland, Oregon.

From the age of sixteen, Kate has worked and volunteered in the mental health field.  Contrary to popular mental illness narrative, she has found that many of her experiences, including hearing voices and seeing visions, have been great sources of strength, hope, creativity and meaning. They have been essential in her personal process of growth and discovery.  Kate’s other focuses include sex and gender diversity, neuropsychology and social justice.

 

 

Sera Davidow

 

 sdavidow resizeSera Davidow is a mother, an advocate, an activist and a film lover and maker. She devotes much of her time to the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community (www.westernmassrlc.org), which includes Afiya (www.afiyahouse.org), the 13th Peer Respite in the United States.  She is also an avid writer and regular blogger on Mad in America (www.MadinAmerica.com).  

Sera herself entered the mental health system as a teenager and cites ‘non-compliance’ as a part of what saved her from a very different path through life that surely would not have included the freedom she now enjoys from all psychiatric labels and medications.  Her passion for the Hearing Voices Movement has grown out of that experience in that its very foundation is steeped in making room for many different beliefs, experiences and approaches to healing and moving forward.

 

 

 

International Consultants

 

Pete Bullimore

Peter Bullimore Pink ShirtThe chair of the Paranoia Network, Pete Bullimore, is testament to how effective these methods can be. Pete heard his first voice aged seven, after suffering sexual abuse at the hands of a child minder. "I heard a child's voice telling me to keep going, that everything would be OK. It was reassuring, a bit like an imaginary friend," he says. But as the abuse went on the voices increased in number, eventually turning sinister and aggressive. "They told me to set myself on fire, to slash myself and destroy myself, often 20 or 30 voices all shouting at me at once," he says. By his mid-twenties Pete had lost his business, his family, his home, everything. "The voices just encompassed my life; I curled up in a chair and didn't wash or eat. "I was locked in a world of voices, paranoia and depression, and it was probably the most frightening time of my life," he says. Pete spent more than a decade after that on heavy medication, but the voices never went away. He had to get out of the psychiatric system to recover. It was only when he came off the medication and met people who share his experience that he was able to stop being so afraid of the voices and actually start listening to them. He changed his relationship with his voices and worked through the meaning of his paranoia. Life isn't easy. Pete still hears up to 40 voices at a time - it is worse when he is tired or stressed. But he has rebuilt his life and has even been hearing a more positive voice recently, which has dictated a children's book to him. It has recently been published, titled "A Village Called Pumpkin". He now runs his own training and consultancy agency delivering training on hearing voices childhood trauma and paranoia internationally. He also currently teaches at eight Universities in the UK. "I wouldn't want to get rid of my voices now, they're part of me," he says.

 

 

Rachel (Rai) Waddingham

Rai is an trainer and consultant specializing in developing respectful approaches to supporting those who struggle with voices, visions, overwhelming beliefs and post-traumatic reactions. She rai picmanaged the London Hearing Voices Project from 2007 – 2015, where she launched an innovative project developing a sustainable network of Hearing Voices Groups in London’s prisons and forensic hospitals as well as establishing Voice Collective to creatively support children and young people who hear voices, and their families. Rai hears voices, sees visions and - during her 20s - spent years in hospital diagnosed with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder. She credits the Hearing Voices Network with helping her make sense of her experiences and reclaiming her life - and no longer identifies with these diagnoses, and feels lucky to live a life that she loves. Rai is a trustee of the English Hearing Voices Network and an executive committee member for ISPS (International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis). For more information, see her website here.