04 February 2020

The University of East London's School of Psychology hosted the Hearing Voices Network's UK conference and AGM last weekend, attracting more than 100 participants. 

The Surviving and Thriving in a Mad World conference for the UK branch of the international Hearing Voices movement explored some of the ways people and their experience of voices are affected by a world that can be 'maddening'.

Speakers included Alison Branitsky, a leading member of the Hearing Voices Network in the US, who reported on its work there, including online support groups.

The Hearing Voices Network, which aims to challenge negative stereotypes, stigma and discrimination, has branches in more than 20 countries. Hearing Voices' self-help support groups create safe spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds to talk freely about voice-hearing, visions and similar sensory experiences.

The Hearing Voices movement is, for me, one of the most exciting developments in mental health in the last 20 years. I am so pleased the University has formed a lasting partnership with this innovative organisation,"

Dr John Read, professor of clinical psychology at UEL, said.

Professor Aneta Tunariu, dean of the School of Psychology, said the School was "very proud to be hosting this special event. We value our longstanding commitment to community engagement, and we are especially pleased to partner with such an empowering grassroots organisation."

Dr Jacqui Dillon, the founder of the Hearing Voices Network, was conferred with an honorary doctorate from the University in East London in 2017 for her services to mental health and human rights.

Pictured: Dr John Read, professor of clinical psychology at the University of East London. 

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