The hearing voices movement: Mental health advocacy and Recovery

Claire Bien, Graziela do Carmo Reis


The Hearing Voices Movement (HVM)3, a survivor-led movement that began in the late 1980s, has grown into a worldwide phenomenon through a network of Hearing Voices support groups (HVN)4 that challenges current belief that auditory verbal hallucinations are sign and symptom of schizophrenia and best treated with lifelong medication management. This article describes the origins and history of the HVM, the philosophy that informs HVN support group work, and the HVM’s extraordinary growth, with a presence in 30 countries on six continents. The Connecticut, USA, experience is described and practical suggestions for forming HVN support groups are offered. The article concludes with a discussion of the future of the movement and a call for increased collaboration between the HVM and supportive mental health professionals to develop an evidence base for the efficacy of HVN support groups in treating those who experience auditory verbal hallucinations.


Hearing Voices Movement; Recovery; Peer Support; Advocacy.

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Cadernos Brasileiros de Saúde Mental, ISSN 2595-2420, Florianópolis - Santa Catarina, Brasil. Todos os direitos reservados, 2018.