Welcome to Voices Unlocked, a website dedicated to Mind in Camden’s work supporting people who hear voices in prisons, secure units and Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs). This site is also the home of the Women’s Voices Unlocked project which focuses on supporting women who hear voices in these environments.
So, what do we do? We support people in prisons, secure units and IRCs who hear things, see things, and sense things other people don’t. These experiences can be positive or neutral, but when they are distressing, they can cause feelings like shame, powerlessness or distress. We work with people to normalise and validate their experiences, and support them in making sense of them.
We do this mainly through peer support groups, which we train staff to run. These groups are safe, inclusive, non-judgemental spaces which foster hope. Group members can connect with each other, explore ideas, but also share and sit with challenging emotions. These groups are simple yet radical. For some people, they can be life-changing.
The original project was established in 2010 with the aim of establishing a network of Hearing Voices groups in prisons and forensic secure units across London. This network, the first of its kind in the world, now includes prisons and medium and low secure units in the within Greater London, as well as a growing number of groups based in the Home Counties, the Midlands and the North-East.