South Australian network for, by, and about people who hear voices and have other 'psychotic' experiences

This week, Michael Barnett is starting work placement with the HVNSA. He is a very friendly person and is keen to hear from anyone in SA around voice hearing. Here’s a little more about him:

Hi everyone, I would like to take some time in introducing myself to hearing voice network of South Australia. I am currently a student on work experience, I choose to do my work placement in mental health as I have found hearing voices network very relevant to me. I have worked in aged care working with residents with dementia and mental health in the elderly. I have founded Celestial World Australia which is based on spiritual aspect of living.

Since I was very young I have heard voices and seen spirits. I was taken to several doctors to see if they could find out what was wrong with me. The doctors found nothing wrong with me and no diagnosis was given to me, as I was a very shy as a young child and like everyone had difficult times when I was younger. I decided to research a large amount of information on new age, spiritual topics to gather a better understanding of what was occurring, I was never afraid of the voices or seeing spirits. I consider the voices and seeing things as a blessing rather than a mental health concern. As I read more on spiritual topics, I learnt to use mediation and spiritual healing to be able to control them, I also come from a Pagan/Druidry background which I find comforting to life in general.

I hope to help and guide people to understand their visions or hearing voices from a different perspective. I believe the hearing voices network both internationally and local is a great base for people to gain better control and understanding what they are going through without fear and judgement in safe and supportive environment.

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Michael and I will be visiting our SA support groups, Sound Minds, and Sound Minds South to chat to people and learn more about how the groups work. We are also hoping to visit the Many Voices Collective in Victor Harbour in July, and have reached out to the Healing Voices Christies Beach Network. If there’s anyone else in SA you think we should get in touch with, please let us know. 

Michael is currently choosing what project he will work on during his placement, so we are keen to hear from you about how the Hearing Voices Network could be strengthened and improved in SA. If we could create one resource, what would it be? What would be of the most use or value? Some of our ideas so far have been:

  • To work on linking together what is happening around the state better – perhaps by developing the newsletter and encouraging all the different groups, people, and initiatives to send in information so it becomes a regular and useful resource for people
  • To trial state based meetings for people to connect, share what is happening in their groups or networks or projects, and gain support from each other – possibly on a rota meeting in different locations, or hosted by the different groups, or with an online option to connect.
  • Start a new group out North – and possibly to capture the process and skills and resources needed so we can host a ‘how to start a hearing voices group’ guide online for others
  • Start a support referral database so people can find support for experiences of voice hearing or ‘psychosis’ that are distressing
  • Run workshops or give talks about the hearing voices approach to raise awareness
  • Run workshops or give talks about meditation and other approaches that can help with distressing ‘psychotic’ experiences for people who hear voices
  • Create a working group of people keen to develop a project together and meet regularly in person or online

Obviously we won’t be doing all of those things this month! So if you feel something is more important or you would like to be involved in something, please reach out and say hello!

Sarah – sarah@di.org.au
Michael – celestialworldaustralia@hotmail.com

It’s an exciting opportunity for Michael and the HVNSA. 🙂

Cheers, Sarah

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