All posts by Ciara McEnteggart

Research Study: How mental health nurses engage with voice hearers

Thanks for taking the time to read the information contained in this post. 

My name is Anita McCluskey, a mental health nurse, based in Dublin, and a PhD student in the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. I am doing research looking at the ways in which mental health nurses engage and work with people who hear voices, whilst admitted to an acute mental health unit. 

Since 2013 I have worked in an acute mental health unit in Dublin. During this time, I have met many people who hear voices, and I always try supporting them to make sense of and cope with their voices in any way possible. I have undertaken some training such as such as CBT Techniques training and the Maastricht Interview workshop over the last few years, to get a better understanding of voice hearers’ experiences. This training has certainly helped me. Unfortunately, we know very little about how nurses and voice hearers interact and engage with one another in an acute unit. 

For this reason, I would like to talk with voice hearers, who have had an acute admission experience, and who currently attend a Hearing Voices Group, and who may be interested to share their experiences with me. I am particularly interested to hear what voice hearers have to say about the way mental health nurses engaged with them during their time in an acute mental health unit. Learning about these experiences will provide insight into how mental health nurses and voice hearers engage, which will inform and, where necessary, improve practices in this area.

If you are a voice hearer who meets the criteria (acute admission experience and currently attending a Hearing Voices Group) and are interested in talking with me, then please contact me at and I will contact you to provide further information.

If you are a health care or social care practitioner, and you know voice hearers who may be interested to share their experiences, then please share this information with them.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this.




On behalf of the HVNI Board, we’d like to invite you to the HVNI AGM 2022, which takes place on Wednesday 14 September from 18.00 – 20.00.

This year we go back to an in-person meeting, but we also will have an online presence, to accommodate those who are unable to travel to the venue:  Hotwell House, Enfield, Co Meath, A83 EP22.

It would help if you could let us know if you are attending in person.

The Zoom link for the meeting is:

The HVNI is always looking for new Board members, so please see below for the nomination form with details. We look forward to receiving nominations in advance of the meeting. If you are interested, or know of others who are, but are not sure what it entails, please email Harry Gijbels (

In addition to the formal AGM procedures, we look forward to hearing about the launch of a new HV support group, and hopefully also hear how HV related work is progressing across the country from individuals and/or from groups. 

At the Open Forum part of the meeting, attendees will have an opportunity to share their experiences, ask questions and provide suggestions.

We are pleased to have Jacqui Dillon as our special guest this year, who will share her wisdom in helping the HVNI to continue its work in supporting the hearing voices community.

Provisional schedule:

18.00 Welcome to AGM

18.10 Launch of new HV Support Group

18.30 Jacqui Dillon, guest speaker

18.50 Overview of HV activities over the last year

19.10 Nominations for HVNI Board and election of Board members

19.30 Open Forum

20.00 AGM finishes

We look forward to seeing many of you at the AGM.

Fundraising Cycle in aid of Hearing Voices Network Ireland

Harry Gijbels, an active member of the HVNI, started his annual cycling trip on 10 May in Rotterdam. He plans to cycle about 3000 kms, first to Oslo, then via Copenhagen and Berlin back to Rotterdam.

Like last year, he is fundraising for HVNI, raising funds to assist in the work of the HVNI. Last year’s fund raising helped to set up HV Facilitation Training, currently in progress, so hopefully HVNI may be able to do similar later this year.

HVNI would appreciate if you could share this message to your contacts to help Harry raise funds for HVNI, and, of course support the campaign yourself to reach its goal!

You can also follow Harry’s trip on his public Facebook page:

Research Study on Facilitators’ Experiences of Hearing Voices Support Groups

My name is Alison Branitsky and I am a PhD student at the University of Manchester in the UK. I am a lived experience researcher, meaning that my research is shaped by my personal experiences of voice hearing and facilitating peer support groups for voice hearers.

What is this research about?

While peer support groups for voice hearers exist across the world, they have only recently begun to take place online. I am interested in understanding how holding groups online impacts both the practicalities of running the group, as well as the experience of relationships and group dynamics between the members.

Who can participate?

Individuals aged 18 and over who have at least three months experience of facilitating support groups for voice hearers either face-to-face or online.

What would participation involve?

Participants will be asked to take part in a 1-hour audio-recorded interview with me about their experiences of facilitating hearing voices groups.

If you or any of your colleagues are interested in learning more about the study, please email Many thanks in advance for your consideration.

Best wishes,

Alison Branitsky

Hearing Voices Group Facilitation Training with Jacqui Dillon – A Second Opportunity

There were more applications than places available for the May/June Hearing Voices Group Facilitation Training with Jacqui Dillon. Hearing Voices Network Ireland is pleased to announce that Jacqui Dillon is running another 8-week online Hearing Voices Group Facilitation & Network Development Training course, from 2-5 pm, starting Tuesday 6th September. Those whom we not able to offer a place on the 3rd May course have already been offered a place on the 6th Sept course.

There are however places available on the 6th September course, so expressions of interest are now invited from voice hearers and others active in the hearing voices movement in Ireland, who are in a position to set up and facilitate/co-facilitate a HV Support group (face to face or online), either independently or with the support from an organisation (either statutory or voluntary). This needs to be clearly demonstrated in the application. Joint applications are specifically welcomed. 

Limited number of Scholarships available (inquiries to

We warmly welcome applications from people who hear voices. Please note, that we would encourage people who have developed a working relationship with their voices to apply, as training and group facilitation can be demanding.

Places on the programme are limited to 20 and will be allocated on:

  • the details provided in the application form
  • the ability to attend all (or at least 7) sessions
  • start/facilitate/co-facilitate a Hearing Voices group following completion of the course.


8 x 3-hour weekly online sessions from Tuesday 6 September – Tuesday 25 October 2022 from 14.00 – 17.00 IST/UTC+1


€200 Euro – Waged/Professional (payments by instalments possible)

€50 Euro Unwaged/Voice Hearer (payments by instalments possible)

Application forms to be returned either by email to or by post to:

Harry Gijbels, 115 Atkins Hall, Lee Road, Cork T23 EA06

The closing date for applications is Friday 12 August 2022.

If you would like to discuss making an application and/or would like more information about the programme, please contact Harry at or on 085 7554220.

Research Study: The Everyday Lived Experience of Hearing Voices in Ireland

Joy Kelleher, a PhD student, is conducting research exploring the lived experience of people in Ireland who hear voices. There is a lack of research literature on the day-to-day lives of individuals in Ireland who hear voices and it is her hope to contribute research that will begin to address this lack of information.

If you are interested in sharing your story and your daily experiences of voice hearing, please consider taking part in this research project. Or if you know someone else that might be interested in this project, please consider sharing the information with them.

If you have any questions about the research, please don’t hesitate to contact Joy at

Donegal Hearing Voices Training

Making sense of voices: Utilising a biographical and social orientated approach to empower and enable mental health recovery

Facilitators: Pete Bullimore, Shaun Hunt & Kate Crawford

The traditional approach to working with voice hearers focuses upon inabilities and deficits, rather than individuals’ inherent ability to understand and cope with their voices and other experiences. This course is grounded on acceptance of lived experiences of voice hearing. Participants will be taught to employ the Maastricht Interview, an assessment tool developed by Dr Sandra Escher and Professor Marius Romme, which provides a structured method for understanding and working with a voice hearer’s experience. This training has been split into three days to maximize the learning potential. Attendance at ALL three sessions is required to complete the class.

 Where and When?

Venue: Raddison Blue, Letterkenny.

  • 1st Day – Monday, April 4th 2022, 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • 2nd Day – Tuesday April 5th 2020, 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • 3rd Day – Wednesday April 6th 2020, 9.30am to 4pm

Lunch and Tea will be offered for three days of training.

Who can attend?

This training is especially appropriate for mental health providers across all disciplines, voices hearers (similar experiences) and their family members/peer. It is expected that participant will become part of the Hearing voice Group in Donegal supporting facilitation of this Self- help Group. Some of the content of the narratives can be difficult to hear please try and identify someone you can speak to if required.

Closing Date for application: 11th March 2022

Future Information about the course contact:

Ursula Gallagher – 0879053747

Eoin Toomey – 0863396881

Jarlath Cannon- 0860477815

Support meeting for Facilitators of Irish Hearing Voices Support Groups

15 March 2022 from 16.00 – 17.30

In May 2021, in response to a request made at the AGM, we offered two online support sessions for facilitators of Hearing Voices Support Groups.

We are pleased to announce another opportunity for facilitators to meet and share their experiences and discuss ideas for ongoing support.

Jacqui Dillon has kindly agreed to join the meeting, to listen and offer guidance, where appropriate.

The Zoom link for this meeting is

Any queries or suggestions, please contact us at

On behalf of HVNI