Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) is about to launch its first Hearing Voices group.
‘I’m very excited to be setting up the world’s first Hearing Voices peer support group at Heathrow IRC to support those individuals in our care,’ says Andrew Willock, Head of Residence at Heathrow IRC. ‘Care and Custody are enthusiastic to seek new ways to enhance detainee care within detention and believe our working relationship with Mind in Camden will be beneficial for those at Heathrow IRC.’
According to the Centre for Mental Health’s study on mental health needs and provision in IRCs, many detainees have experienced trauma, torture or oppression in their country of origin. For most, the experience of detention in itself can impact on mental wellbeing and trigger complex emotions. For some, this will include distressing voices and beliefs.
The Hearing Voices group at Heathrow IRC is the first of its kind in the world. Mind in Camden worked closely with the Mitie Care and Custody team at Heathrow, as well as volunteers from Detention Action, to identify and meet the specific needs and challenges of people who hear voices in detention settings.