Authors: Indigo Daya and Neil Thomas, VIC
Event: 2014 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings 2014
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The 2013 World Hearing Voices Congress, reportedly the largest consumer-led mental health event in Australia’s history, aimed to address past conflicts between consumers and clinicians in creating an event which promoted respect and collaboration. In particular, the congress aimed to respect individuality over stereotyping, diversity over dogma, collaboration over exclusion, and to promote non-violent ways of communicating about emotional and challenging issues. The congress utilised many innovative practices to demonstrate its messages. The event attracted over 770 people from all target groups (consumers, clinicians, community, family, and academia) who were actively engaged in discussing new ways of working with people who hear voices. Delegates reported feeling included and respected, that the event changed their thinking about hearing voices, and that they felt more able to work with voices (their own or others). The congress was an example of consumer leadership delivering a strong personal and professional impact within mental health.