Category Archives: News Archive

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

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

Hearing Voices Congress goes Online!

Important announcement! 

Because of the ongoing uncertainties around travel, social distancing and limited opportunities for indoor gatherings, we have had to make the unfortunate decision to hold the 12th Annual Hearing Voices Congress from 1-3 September as a fully online event!

The ‘call for Papers’ ends on 30 July.

Book your place now! Very good value at £45 for voice hearers and students and £65 for professionals for 3 full days, including cultural and social events.

Congress Registration at

Cycling in memory of Sandra & HVNI Raising Funds

Harry will be cycling across Europe to raise funds for HVNI in memory of Sandra Escher

Donate here:

Harry Gijbels, a Board member of the Hearing Voices Network Ireland, and active in the Hearing Voices Movement now for many years, started his annual long distance cycle a few days ago.

The journey takes him from Cherbourg in France to Marburg in Germany and then on to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, covering between 1500 and 2000 km. This year, he is, with permission from Marius Romme, dedicating the journey in honor of Sandra Escher, who died recently. Sandra has been called the ‘mother of the Hearing Voices Movement tribe’. Sandra, together with her partner, Marius Romme, developed many new ways in working with voice hearers, helping them and others to make sense of their voices.

Raising awareness and providing Hearing Voices training opportunities are important aspects of the work of Hearing Voices Network Ireland (HVNI). So, alongside this dedication, HVNI is keen to raise the necessary funds to develop promotional and educational materials, and to provide training opportunities. Our target is to raise €2000, in other words approx. €1 per km cycled by Harry. We hope that you can support this good cause! Harry will provide daily updates via his Facebook page, including the kilometers cycled!

More information on the HVNI Facebook page.