In this section
Voice Collective Group
Around 8 per cent of children and young people hear voices and see visions that other people can't. Whilst many cope well with these experiences, they can also be very frightening and cause the young person to become isolated and distressed. The Voice Collective group offers young people a safe place to make sense of their experiences and find creative ways of coping with them.
What does the group do?
The group is:
- A safe space for young people to meet with others who understand
- User-centred and based around the needs and interests of its members
- Flexible, using activities that suit group members (from chatting about issues important to them, to using the creative arts)
- Social, rather than being solely focussed on distress or unusual experiences
- Recovery-focussed, seeing current distress as temporary and ultimately understandable
- Hopeful, encouraging young people to envision a positive future for themselves (whether they continue to hear voices or not).
- Open to a range of understandings and explanations around voices (including spiritual and ones rooted in an individual’s culture)
- Complimentary to other forms of support
The group is small, open to a maximum of 6 members at present, and is co-facilitated by someone with personal experience of coping with voices and visions. As the group progresses, members will be encouraged and supported to take a more active role in its running.
Who is this group for?
This group is for young people who:
- are aged between 12 and 18
- have personal experience of hearing, seeing or sensing things that others don't
- are willing and able to be part of a peer support group
Even if you have not been given a diagnosis you are welcome to come along to the group because we understand that voice-hearing is a human experience with many causes.
You do not need someone else to recommend you to the group, and the group welcomes you if you would like to refer yourself. We do understand though that this can be quite daunting and we appreciate the support that friends, family members and professionals can give in helping you to access the service, so we allow others to refer you as long as you agree to it.
If you want to make a referral on behalf of a young person, we ask that you discuss the form with them and ensure that they are part of the process.
The group was launched by the Anna Freud Centre in partnership with Mind in Camden, and is the first of its kind in London. It meets from 5.15 – 6.15pm every Thursday at the Centre (opening from 5pm for refreshments.)