We meet the third Thursday each month,
we do not meet in August
See the poster for address and dates.
Big thanks as always to Houselink for offering us use of their space.
Easy print poster [pdf]
HV Group Toronto 2017 poster
If you what to get an idea of what its we usually suggest you check out the HV cafe first.
The HV Cafe is for everybody including the just curious and is the easiest intro to what we’re about and how we try to do things.
We often get workers asking if they can “send” clients to us
– If you can find an envelope big enough I guess you could try but we’d prefer you didn’t, especially if you have not obtained prior informed consent – in writing and in a separate envelope.
We’re grateful if you share the information and let the person decide for themselves.
We’re also ok if they want you to come with them, but we usually suggest that the HV Cafe is an easier place to do that, the HV cafe is for everyone.
Our HV Group values the additional privacy and we thank your for respecting that.
We don’t take referrals
we don’t need a referral,
we don’t do referrals,
we don’t know what a referral is,
…and we don’t really want to.
And, if you’re a “worker”, please don’t ask us if you can “send” someone to our group
-unless you have an envelope big enough.
About HV Group Toronto
What we mean by Hearing Voices
We hear voices you don’t- voices others might think are not there to be heard but we hear them.
You might think its rare or unusual, but its actually a very common human experience, for example:
- 75% Three-in-four humans will hear a voice no one else does at least once- often around challenging life events, like loss of a loved one
- 50% of people in long term marriage heard, saw, otherwise sensed the presence of their deceased spouse
- 22% of young people
- About 10% of all people hear voices regularly
- Two thirds of world leaders at the 1943 Quebec Conference did
- Even 38% of Doctors do it…
The majority of people who hear voices never need seek help- they find the experience valuable, useful, even enjoy it, and find it helps them in their life or work – eg many, many writers do.In fact, if you don’t then maybe you’re missing out.
As for those who do struggle… it is often because they feel disempowered and disconnected from others , isolated.
- About 80% have experience adverse experiences like abuse neglect, bullying in their youth
- A person given a diagnosis of “psychosis” is fifteen times more likely to have been abused as a child than a person with no psychiatric diagnosis.
…and how much we need find our compassion.
Difficult voices always make sense in context of the life of the person who hears them- so long as we make time and allow ourselves to really listen.
Hearing Voices is not just about “voices”…
If you sometimes hear voices, hear other things, see things, smell things, feel things, think things that others don’t and when you try to talk top them about it they get their freak on, then give us a try because we do to.
We talk about “hearing voices” because it’s descriptive of the most common of the kind of experiences that get called names like “psychosis”. I hear voices [you don’t], its that simple.
It also tends to be voices that scares more people shitless and leads them to want to control us and treat us like crap so they can feel better. We believe that’s partly [largely? ] because of the powerful simple story/myth that prevails in our culture. This story disempowers us and isolates people who are already having a hard enough time.
Disempowerment and Isolation
Some people do struggle and what we know is that people who feel disempowered by their experience of voices are often also disempowered in other aspects of their life.
If we work on those, the voices can change. if we work with our voices, it can get easier to change things in our life we need and want to change.
We’re totally non medical, non-diagnostic.
We’re a full charter hearing voices group –
for voice hearers
by voice hearers,
of voice hearers.
The voices ARE real
The voices are real
– as real as real gets.
We know that you don’t make ’em up
and we know it can be a pain in the ass.
We also know it can be valuable and funny and sad and insightful and scary and everything else that life can be.
If you’re struggling and if you’re interested we can share some stuff that you can try – some is really simple, some is bloody hard, some might work for you, some might not. Nothing works if you don’t try it. The only way to find out what works for you is if you try it .
It’s always your choice.
You can, if you want, change what you experience.
The Hardest Thing…
The hardest thing people who hear voices have to deal with…Our Hearing Voices group is one place you can find we don’t treat each other that way…
We choose not to …
use diagnostic or medical language
tell you what’s wrong with you, what to call yourself, or who you are
We choose instead …
to share what works for us, how we make sense of our own experience
We envision and enact a society that understands voice hearing, supports the needs of individuals who hear voices and views them as full citizens.
This type of society is not only possible it is already on its way.
We believe all human experience is meaningful and understandable – if only we make time to listen, and to figure out what it means to us.
We believe the hearing voices approach is emancipatory…
Emancipatory for people who hear voices…
- me who gets to hear them
- me who gets to choose what they mean to me
- me who gets to choose what I do about what they say
Emancipatory for people who support loved ones who who hear voices and emancipatory for workers and clinicians too…
Free yourself from the nonsense that says the people you care about hear voices because they haven’t taken enough tablets, or haven’t had enough chemicals injected into their buttcheeks,
that they cant do anything for themselves, and that your role is confined to sneaking around their back and checking up on them.
Hearing Voices is not about “mental illness”
Hearing Voices is not about “mental illness” – whatever that is.
It’s not even really about illness.
It is a global emancipatory human rights movement, in 35 countries on all continents…
but mostly it’s about being human.
Heck, Canada even has a voice hearing former Prime Minister on its money…
Here’s our charter – what we’re about, how we try to do it.
Print pdf: hvn-toronto-group-charter