Kevin Healey

Kevin HealeyKevin Healey… hears voices that you don’t, has done for over thirty years and is a survivor – mostly of his own mis-steps, mistakes and misdeeds but also of a life of never quite fitting in: anywhere.

He learned very early on not to let others, especially medical professional, know about what they did not understand, and so found and created his own ways to  live with experiences that others just don’t get and are afraid of.

Ten years ago he was called to N America where he discovered he didn’t fit in even more than ever, needed to draw on everything he’d already learned and to reach out for help.

He discovered how little medicine understands and came upon ideas of recovery, eventually meeting Ron Coleman and Paul Baker and found eth courage to no longer hide that he hears voices.
Kevin is now a lead activist for recovery, and especially hearing voices in Canada.

Belief that the whole range of categories of “mental disorder” are nothing more than the best attempt looking through a narrow, fogy and cracked lens at the  whole variety of ways people  can  struggle with life.
Whilst the experts and professions fight over who is right and who is wrong and who gets the big bucks to fund their toys and schema,  Kevin works in the space that deals with the  now, that focuses on helping people learn how to live with whatever life throws their way.

With a background in engineering, management, training and organisational development Kevin suggests we need get our heads out of the proverbial sand and our asses out of the ivory towers and get real, and do it now.

Seeking help from medicine left him with a collection of diagnoses from health systems in two countries and  two continents that never made more than partial sense, revealing   the paucity of institutional understanding of those experiences that get labelled “madness”,  “mentally ill”, disordered, etc. So, he sacked himself from the passive patient role and set out to learn how to became the chief activist and #1 expert in his own recovery.

peer work: recovery as learning, [re]connecting, and building resilience

Kevin believes that everyone is in recovery: any of us as an individual is vulnerable to the life stresses that can bring on struggle. Our institutions are equally  vulnerable and also make us ill – including workplaces and especially those institutions and organizations involved in mental health. Not only those deemed ill, but each of us can benefit from the kind of  emancipation that comes from rediscovering our will to live, embracing vulnerability and reconnecting with our humanity and interconnectedness –  indeed, if we want to leave behind a world fit for our children to live in we need to .
It is time to stop the silly arguments about who is right and who is wrong and instead integrate the best ideas from all disciplines, not just the one we might be trained in.

Draws on skills and experiences of three decades experience working with groups, designing and building learning programs,  and establishing communities of learning and the fine art of troublemaking and turning them to helping create a better world. I do this for selfish reasons…”all I want is a world that ‘s easier for people like me to live in.”

recovery network: Toronto

Founder and coordinator of recoverynetwork:Toronto now connecting with readers around the globe who appreciate an online resource that takes a broad, global perspective on recovery; helps them find resources, enabling them to make their own sense of their own situation and take the lead in their own recovery.

hearing voices

For four decades and more Kevin hears voices that you don’t. This is sometimes a troubling experience, often rewarding but always challenging and tiring. Hard work and learning from others have led him to accepting and understanding his voices and what they mean: taming and training the voices and turning the experience into a useful, even valuable one.

Now facilitator of Toronto Hearing Voices group and working with agencies to train staff, build capacity to support people who hear voices in the Toronto area; connecting with others across Canada in preparation for establishing a hearing voices network in Canada; advocating that hearing voices is a normal human experience, and a story of human diversity.



In the media

  • Living With My Voices

Short interview on The Trauma  and Mental Health Report website at York U.
12 Sep, 2014


  • Hearing Voices need not mean you’re crazy, says activist

Extensive feature article by Valerie Hauch  in the  Toronto Star was also featured elsewhere..

  • Disturbed Minds or Manuals? 

TVO The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Series: Mental Health Matters 2012

  • Schizophrenia -sentence or diagnosis? 

TVO The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Series: Mental Health Matters 2012

  • Human Book

Toronto City Library Human Book Project

October 2012