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International Consultants:

 

 

 

 

 

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 most often get labeled as "psychosis"), human rights & making visible the often-overlooked lives emerging from the shadows of madness.

 

 

 

 

Claire Bien

Claire is a research associate and Project Coordinator for the Lived Experience Transformational LEADership Academy (LET(s)LEAD) at the Yale University Program for Recovery and claire bienCommunity Health and a grantwriter and public/community relations professional for The Connection. Claire is also an immigrant who came to the United States with her family when she was three and one-half years old. She began hearing voices at 31, soon after the suicide of her first cousin, and was hospitalized twice. Thanks to compassionate psychotherapy and the support of family and friends, she learned to regain control of her mind and her life without the need for ongoing medication. Her memoir, Hearing Voices, Living Fully: Living with the Voices in My Head was published in 2016.

Claire was trained as an HVN Support group facilitator in 2014 and began a Hearing Voices resource group at Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital in December 2014. She currently also facilitates an adolescent/young adult support group in the New Haven community. Since becoming involved with the HVN, she has become a passionate advocate for reform, calling for a change in the medical-psychiatric profession’s approach to diagnosis and treatment of people with mental health conditions.

 

 

 

Sera Davidow

 Sera 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),Sera headshot 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.

 

 

 

Remy Blasko

 Remy is a facilitator of the online Hearing Voices group and a contributor to the Inner Compass Withdrawal Project. She is a writer and a meditator.

 

Dmitriy Gutkovich

Dmitriy is a loving husband and a hard-working professional, who also happens to hear voices. Seeing the unnecessary suffering of the broader community, Dmitriy dedicates his time to building a DGutkovich Photodiscrimination-free voice hearing network that shares support, insights, and strategies. His core passion projects include facilitating a voice-hearing group in New York, building coalitions with other advocacy organizations around shared difficulties, and standardizing a tool kit to improve quality-of-life for those with lived experience.

When people are scared to admit a core part of their identity, then there is something very wrong. Hearing Voices is normal, and can be an amazing experience. It's time to change the conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Ed Herzog

Ed Herzog was one of the co-founders of the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network. He currently co-facilitates a HV group in Berkeley and has participated in and organized HV trainings and workshops inherzog the Bay Area. He lives in Berkeley, CA. and has been a documentary filmmaker and labor organizer for 30 years, working primarily with labor unions. He got involved in the hearing voices movement when his son told him around ten years ago that he heard voices. Though he does not hear voices himself, he experienced trauma as a young boy and extreme visual and auditory experiences. Ha has served on the BAHVN Board since 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Caroline Mazel-Carlton

Caroline first interfaced with psychiatry at the age of eight, and years later was able to find a path out of a world narrowly defined by diagnoses and medication compliance through face carolineroller derby and social activism.   Since moving out of a staffed group home in 2009, she has worked tirelessly to create change in the mental health system.  In her current roles as Director of Training for the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community and the national Hearing Voices Research and Development Project, she has supported the development of the Hearing Voices Network in every time zone of the United States and keynoted the 10th World Hearing Voices Congress in the Netherlands.  Caroline co-founded the world’s first Online Hearing Voices meeting and one of the first long-term forensic hospital groups in the United States.  Her work with HVN has been featured in the New York Times and Foreign Policy magazine.  She is passionate about re-claiming cultural and spiritual wisdom traditions for navigating extreme states and is both a certified Spiritual Emergence Coach and studying to become a rabbi.”

 

 

 

Samantha Thorton

Samantha has been a voice hearer since she was a young child. She was raised with the alternative worldview of that she was gifted with a powerful talent. It is this alternative view that has led her tosamantha thorton be an educator, both in and outside of the mental health system which has dominated definitions and foundational understandings of those that experience voices and visions.

Her exposure to the Hearing Voices Network about 6 years ago led to a shift in her journey as a wellness advocate. She describes her experience with HVN as life changing. She is honored to be accepted to the board. It is her commitment to forward a conversation about change, understanding, community and belonging. She became an HVN group facilitator several years ago, when the training came to Texas. Since then, she has been a strong voice for voice hearers in her community. She works for a community mental health center, where she strives to keep non-medical non-clinical perspectives in the forefront.

Samantha had been in the helping professions for over 30 years. She is a regular writer for a national publication and has been published by the World Federation for Mental Health several times. She speaks regularly on mental health resiliency and making sense of adverse and unusual experiences (though she believes voice hearing and visions are not that unusual). She hopes to bring her experience and knowledge to the service of the board.

 

 

 

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.