Posted in Training

HaVeN Training Pathways

HaVeN training pathways is funded by the NHS Tayside community innovation fund and is a project which aims to support voice hearings through a variety of training opportunities designed to enhance their skills, confidence and mental wellbeing whilst also providing support to others. The training can also be undertaken by non-voice hearers who wish to continue building on or learn how to support others as well as those who are planning on or are currently studying/working in the care sector.

The project has been split into phases, at the moment the project is in ‘Phase One’ which has a focus of Personal Development and Recovery.

This theme provides voice hearers with valuable workshops that will be carried out within the Hearing Voices Network Dundee (See here for directions and contact details) premises on a rolling basis. These courses will focus on recognizing and building upon participants’ strengths. This will hopefully build the individuals confidence and lead being able to support others and commit to a lengthier supporting recovery training course. The theme of Recover support is also touched on helping those who hear voices to build upon their lived experiences and assist in empowering and mutually beneficially to develop their skills and allow the participant to offer peer support if this is something they wish to take part in. Topics in Phase One are expected to include:

* Knowing Myself

* Hidden Talents

* Personal Narratives

* Non-Violent communications

* Healthy Relationships

* Boundaries

* Recovery

* Finding Personal Meaning in Voices

Also as part of Phase One, we are planning to create Ambassadors of recovery who are to build awareness and social acceptance for voice hearers and work to reduce and eventually remove the stigma that surrounds voice hearing and those who experience it. HaVeN will connect with local organizations, universities and other public sector organizations in Dundee and offer awareness raising workshops that could include simulation voice hearing and sharing personal recover stories of voice hearers who have benefited from HaVeNs services as well as found acceptance and validation.


Posted in Services, Uncategorized

Peer Support at the HaVeN

Many people who have experienced episodes of mental illness, know only too well how difficult it can be to get the help that you need at the time that you need it. They also know how beneficial it can be to speak to someone who really understands, first handedly, what it’s like to have extraordinary experiences.

Peer support can be thought of as someone with lived experience of mental health problems, offering support to an other in similar situation. This support can provided on  practical, emotional or social issues. Either way, this peer-to-peer support is  beneficial to the self esteem of both parties involved.

Peer support can be formal or informal. At the Haven, we offer peer-led support groups for all aspects of living with mental illness and also specifically for voice hearing and other extraordinary experiences. We also provide one-to-one peer informal support or mentoring, where we match the needs of the person seeking help with the experiences of the person providing the support.

Peer mentoring and befriending is an informal way of providing peer support. Our experienced and trained peer support volunteers offer their services on a regular basis to the acute wards at Carseview and also at other organisations in Dundee. This enables people to start building supportive relationships with outside agencies before being discharged, easing the transition from living in wards to moving back into the community.

Many of the peer support volunteers also deliver training and awareness sessions for professionals, medical students, nursing students and other outside agencies. The team has carried out seminars with first year mental health nursing students at Abertay University in the past. On one of those occasions, one student commented that:

‘I’d just like to say how amazing I found yesterday’s class. The speakers were inspirational, and the group work and discussion was one of the best I’ve been part of since starting university. I learned so much and just wanted to pass it on and say: Thank you’. (Nurse Student)

Posted in Services

Resources and Strategies for Coping with Voice Hearing

The following are external links and suggestions for coping with the experiences of hearing voices, and seeing visions and having tactile sensations. It is hoped some of these ideas can help you, or someone you care about, towards living positively with these experiences and to maintain a sense of ownership over them.

Remember that you are not alone: Research shows that 4% of people hear voices, this is the same number as have asthma. Voice hearers throughout history have included a great many influential people: religious prophets, doctors and psychologists, philosophers, artists, poets, explorers and politicians.

Manchester Hearing Voices Network

Manchester Hearing Voices Group have created a list of strategies to cope with voice hearing. The list includes some of the following;

  • Don’t Believe What The Voices Tell You
  • Take Care of Yourself
  • Use Stepping Stones
  • Structure and Routine
  • Social Support Network
  • Educating Others On How Best To Help You
  • Get Creative
  • Keep a Diary or Journal
  • Being prescribed the Right Medication for You
  • Read And Learn About Hearing Voices
  • Celebrate Taking Control
  • Find Hobbies
  • Music

HAVEN Dundee YouTube Channel

There are many videos on YouTube of people talking about there experiences with voice hearing. Check out our page for some videos that HAVEN Dundee members have created.

Mind is a website with information and support to improve mental health that we believe is really useful. The Mind website gives you an understanding of voice hearing and strategies for coping.

Hearing Voices Network is International

HAVEN Dundee is one of many Hearing Voices Network groups across the world. The Hearing Voices website offers lots of free downloads to help you on the road to recovery.

Free Telephone Support

Samaritans – What ever you are going through, call Samaritans free, any time of day on 116 123

Breathing Space – Open up when you’re feeling down. Call free on 0800 838 587. Open Mon – Thurs (6pm – 2am) and weekends (Fri 6pm – Mon 6am)

Please be aware that HAVEN Dundee does not have any control over the above external websites. If you notice something of concern on any of the above websites, please inform the website directly.