‘Hearing voices isn’t a mental illness’: MHT meets Voice Collective

“Two thirds of people who hear voices aren’t disturbed by them, however they can have an enormous impact on the way a young person sees themselves and their world.”

This article is published in the journal Mental Health Today.

“Children under the age of 13 are more likely to hear voices than any other age group. Voice Collective, which runs a global online forum for young voice hearers, was set up in response to an increasing demand for non-clinical and peer support approaches from young voice hearers and their families.

Almost a decade on from their launch, we caught up with Voice Collective’s Eve Mundy … to get the latest in understanding of voice hearing, along with insights into their sensitive and pioneering support services.

Mental Health Today: Is hearing voices a sign of trauma?

Eve Mundy: There are many different reasons why young people hear voices, see visions or have other sensory experiences, and there are lots of different theories out there – ranging from the biochemical to the spiritual.

Some of the young people we support at Voice Collective tell us that their voices started after experiencing a trauma/s, such as losing a loved one, being abused or bullied, or witnessing a crime. Some young people talk to us about the impact of factors such as growing up in poverty, not having a safe place to live, feeling like an outsider in their community, or being discriminated against due to their ethnicity, sexuality, gender or socioeconomic background. And some young people tell us that they were born voice-hearers, or that hearing voices is a special gift or ability, or that it’s a religious or spiritual experience.

It’s important to remember that whilst there are lots of theories within psychiatry and psychology about why voices happen, there isn’t any consensus. The experience of hearing voices or seeing visions is as unique as the young people we support, and no two stories will ever be the same …”

You can read more here.

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