Stories to Awaken the Inner hero

We have completed our series of workshops, Stories to Awaken your Inner Hero in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland with Dr Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barbara Mainguy. What a great workshop it was. We discovered the healing power of story, the emotional power of using metaphor. The gift it was to be able to listen to someones life challenges, and turn it into a Heros story, using metaphor. The story of Pack rat and First mother, told by Lewis, reminding us all, just like the Heros, not to give up. That by creating a metaphorical story we we become the hero and succeeds, our brains, and spirits began to start searching for a way to create that success on a deeper level.

Uplifting, and engaging.

Here is an interview with Lewis and Barbara before the workshops, talking about it.

Heroes story interview Lewis Mehl Madrona & Barbara Mainguy

HEALING VOICES – Movie Premiere April 29 2016

The Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ in conjunction with ISPS, and Affinity NZ are pleased to announce we are holding a screening of the Movie Healing Voices.
HEALING VOICES is a new social action documentary which will be released via grass roots, non-theatrical premiere events around the world on April 29, 2016. Written and Directed by PJ Moynihan of Digital Eyes Film, HEALING VOICES explores the experience commonly labeled as ‘psychosis’ through the stories of real-life individuals, and asks the question:  What are we talking about when we talk about ‘mental illness’? The film follows three subjects – Oryx, Jen, Dan – over nearly five years, and features interviews with notable international experts including:  Robert Whitaker, Dr. Bruce Levine, Celia Brown, Will Hall, Dr. Marius Romme, and others, on the history of psychiatry and the rise of the ‘medical model’ of mental illness.  Community screening partners will host HEALING VOICES premiere events in their local markets on 4.29.16, which will be followed by audience discussion around dialogue topics relating to the content of the film. The documentary is ideal for individuals with lived experience in the mental health system, educators, peer counselors, advocates, researchers, psychiatrists, psychologists, healthcare workers, first responders, family members, or anyone who has been touched by mental health issues in their life.
The Huffington Post here
says this:

Writer and director PJ Moynihan explores two question: What are we talking about when we talk about “mental illness”? What is truly helpful?

Over a five year period, Healing Voices follows Oryx, Jen, and Dan, all previously diagnosed with serious mental illness. Oryx, Jen, and Dan are each very different personalities but all are articulate, insightful, and fascinating in describing their return journeys from extreme states of consciousness to satisfying human relationships and meaningful work.

Healing Voices is not afraid to discuss aspects of our humanity that routinely terrify many of us, and Moynihan is also not afraid to make his movie fun and joyful—including playful music and animations. What is striking about Healing Voices is its combination of boldness and humility—its boldness challenging political correctness and its humility about its own assertions.


Please see the details of our event at the Pumphouse in Takapuna on the 29th April, on the attached jpeg.

Space is limited so book asap! 


Adrienne Giacon



July 26th 2014- Event Paris Williams Psychologist and Author, and Beyond the Medical Model screening

rethinking Madness


On July 26th 2014, The Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ are hosting a talk by Paris Williams Psychologist and Author of Rethink Madness- 

We will share afternoon tea, then have a screening of the excellent ‘ Beyond the Medical Model’

See the trailer

All welcome.

Fickling Center, 546 Mt Albert Road, Three Kings, Auckland
12.30pm to 3.30pm
Come along and hear Paris Williams, watch the movie, and share afternoon tea and discussion. All are welcome.
COST: $5 for waged. Voice hearers and HVNANZ members free.
We will hold our Hearing Voices Network Annual General meeting afterwards at 3.30-4.30pm if you are interested in making a difference, please stay and join in.
For Bookings please email: or tel : 027 265 0266


Event For International Hearing Voices Day September 14 2013


                                Are pleased to host an afternoon for



Come along and join us for the afternoon. All welcome.

                         We will have a viewing of the  excellent Documentary

“OPEN DIALOGUE”  by Daniel Mackler

In the Far North of Finland, a stones throw from the Arctic Circle, a group of innovative family therapists converted the area’s traditional mental health system, which once boasted poor outcomes for schizophrenia, into one that now gets the best statistical results in the world for first break psychosis. They call their approach Open Dialogue.

Their principles, though radical in this day and age of multi-drug cocktails and involuntary hospitilization, are surprisingly simple.  Daniel Mackler travels to Finland to see for himself and interviews the therapists involved.

Please bring a plate along, for a shared afternoon tea and wonderful discussion afterwards.

Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ, will host their Annual General Meeting.  All are welcome to stay. We rely on the help of volunteers to continue our work and are always looking for people willing to help J

Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ are a registered charity independent society. Commited to providing research and support for voices and visions in NZ.


When: 1.00pm to 3.30 PM Saturday September 14th 2013

Where: Connect SR 215 Wairau Road, Glenfield, Auckland

Cost: Free, please just bring a plate  for a shared afternoon tea,

Bookings: Adrienne at 0272650266 or email: with your name and contact details. Please note spaces are limited. You will need to book.


Voice hearers experience of Neurolink

This is an email I received last year, and I thought I had posted it here. But doesnt look like it. We like to share what other voice hearers find helpful.

I have spoken to you a couple of times over the past few years in regards to my husband who has been a voice hearer for as long as he can remember. As discussed in the past he hears very aggressive negative voices.

I wanted to let you know the very interesting journey we have been down this year…..

In June he had a sudden onset of a severe pain in the back of his head that was so intense we ended up at hospital with him getting CT scans and lumbar puncture to screen for a brain tumour. The tests came back negative and he was just given pain killers and basically told to see how it goes. This pain in his head did not leave for 5 months solid. In that time he was seen by Rheumatologist (given steroid shots in his skull) to no avail. Then he saw a Neurologist who said it was a chronic nerve pain called occipital neuralgia. This pain never left in five months and left all the specialists and osteopaths scratching their heads. The last thing we got told was that maybe his depression was causing pain so to take a high dose anti depressant  !!!!  Honestly !?! how insulting !

 After this pain wearing him down for such a long time in desperation we decided to try a few new things ……A friend of ours was telling us amazing results that her and her friends had had at a place called Neurolink in Greenlane.

So with nothing much to lose we gave it a go ……here’s the best part …..he left there with his headache completely gone ….and even more amazing than that ….he left there with no voices !!!!!!! he told me this a week after the treatment because he couldn’t quite believe it ! They have been gone ever since he had treatment, which is now a couple of months!

 This was just amazing because his voices are with him all day every day running a constant commentary on his daily life and activities!

Neurolink is a technique to reconnect neural path ways that have been disrupted. The treatment is completely gentle an non invasive with a series of muscles tests and tapping technique

I thought I would let you know as this has been an amazing experience and We want to share this experience with others. We told the Neurolink practitioner about his voices whilst we were there.

 We are happy for you to pass this info on if you wanted to

 They have a website you may want to check out

 Take care

 We are always happy to share what works and what doesnt.


Hikoi for Healthy choices

Anne chapman started her walk from the top of the North Island of NZ to Wellington on the 12th December. Annie wants to see more healthy choices for people under mental health care.

We are supporting Annie in her walk to bring about change. You can see more details about her walk here on her blog.


Go Annie. Any extra funds raised are to be donated to the Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ, so we can continue to support voice hearers.



David Healy and Robert Whittaker Coming to NZ September 2011

Some of you may have heard of David Healy before, as Richard Bentall spoke about his book “let them eat Prozac”. Casper – are bringing both him and Robert Whittaker to New Zealand for Friday 2nd September 2011. Registrations close AUG 19 so get in quick!!
Here is a link to his website
Also accompanying him is Robert Whittaker- here is a link to a video of him speaking.
Very fascinating video I might add.
I have also imbedded another video on Robert Whittaker below

Phone: 09 442 1581 Mobile: 021 066 1872 Email:





This shocking story was in the New Zealand herald today. Highlighting the shocking lack of rights that people with mental illness are sometimes faced with when in care.

4:00AM Thursday Nov 05, 2009
By Patrick Gower

The Ombudsmen’s report claims several mentally ill patients have been treated inhumanely, including one who was restrained and kept in seclusion for almost six years.

A mentally ill patient held in restraints and kept in solitary confinement for almost six years is one of several disturbing cases of possibly inhumane treatment the country’s Ombudsmen have uncovered in New Zealand detention facilities.

The public watchdogs found the patient in virtually constant “seclusion” – solitary confinement in a bare room – at the mental health unit of a district health board.

Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem would not name the board last night, but said it claimed the detention and use of restraints was required because the patient was likely to attack other patients and staff.

But Ms Wakem said that after her office became involved, the patient was moved to a more suitable facility.

“Why nobody thought to look at that and make that assessment before we arrived on the scene is a cause for concern,” she told the Herald.

The patient was one example of “potential cruel and inhumane treatment” the Ombudsmen identified during the first nationwide investigation of detention facilities, done over the past year.

The investigation also found a young intellectually disabled patient being kept in unwarranted and lengthy “seclusion”, and another mental health patient who had been kept without any consent for years.

Ms Wakem said the health boards responsible took action immediately.

But the Health Ministry’s director of mental health, Dr David Chaplow, said last night that he knew nothing of the cases and would be ordering an urgent report.

Dr Chaplow said he knew of one patient with a mixture of autism, intellectual disability and mental illness that was particularly challenging, “but I have never known a case in seclusion for six years”.

The annual mental health services report says 1395 patients were secluded for between two minutes and 365 days in the past year.

Dr Chaplow said there was now a “sinking lid” policy on seclusion, but it had a place in mental health care.

The Ombudsmen’s investigation covered prisons, mental health units, immigration detention centres, court cells and youth facilities.

It was detailed in the Ombudsmen’s annual report, issued yesterday, and also raised concerns that prisoners were not given electric fans to control cell ventilation or temperature.

It said in excessive temperatures the lack of fans could amount to “cruel” or “inhumane” treatment.

It noted this was more likely with increasing lock-down times and double-bunking as the prison population reached crisis point.

Corrections prison services manager Karen Urwin said the department had looked into buying fans for every prison cell, but had decided it was not an effective use of taxpayers’ money as extreme heat waves were rare in New Zealand.

* Case studies

CASE 1: Mental health patient in “virtually constant restraint and seclusion for nearly six years”.

CASE 2: Young intellectually disabled patient kept in “seclusion” for lengthy period.

CASE 3: Mental health patient “treated for some years without any apparent consent of any kind

Nz Young Among World’s highest users of cannabis-NZ Herald- Sat October 17

This was in the NZ Herald today, note cannabis is known to cause psychotic episodes.

Lancet study includes long list of health risks for the world’s 166 million cannabis smokers.

Young people in New Zealand are among the world’s biggest users of cannabis. Nearly 4 percent of adults globally use the drug, though it raises many health concerns according to a paper published in the Lancet yesterday.

It cited figures from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, which estimated that in 2006 there were 166 million users of cannabis aged from 15-64 0r 3.9 percent of the world’s population  in this age category. The drug is the most used among young people in rich countries, led by New Zealand, Australia and the US, followed bu Europe, but appears to be becoming popular on a global scale, with use rising in low and middle income countries it said.

The study by Australia professors Wayne Hall and Louisa Degenhardt, is an overview of published research into cannabis use and impacts.

Hall and Degenhardt say that as a problem for public health, cannabis is “probably modest” compared with the burden from alcohol, tobacco and other illegal drugs.Even so, cannabis has a long list of suspected adverse health effects they warn.

They include the risk of dependence, car accidents,impaired breathing, damaged cardiovascular healtg, psychotic episodes and educational failure among teens who smoke the drug regularly. Around 9 percent of people who ever use cannabis become dependent on it, says the paper. By comparison, the risk of addiction for nicotine is 32 percent, 23 percent for heroin, 17 percent for cocaine and 15 percent for alcohol.

   “Acute adverse effects of cannabis use include anxiety and panic in naive( first time) users, and a probable increased risk of accidents if users drive while intoxicated” it says…

…Another area of concern is so-called “skunk”- extremely potent cannabis from plants selected to have higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the drugs active ingredient. Level’s of THC found in seized cannabis have risen in the past two decades, says the study. ” A hugh THC content can increase anxiety, depression and psychotic symptoms if regular users do not titrate(measure out) their dose.


On the Lancet site they also have an article on cannabis and Psychosis B ut you have to be registered to see it.

This website – The Medical Journal of Australia– has some interesting information also on cannabis and psychosis:

Cannabis and schizophrenia
  Does cannabis cause schizophrenia? Perhaps the more worrying question is whether cannabis causes chronic psychosis, particularly schizophrenia. The work of Andreasson and others examined this question in a cohort of male Swedish conscripts, followed up through a national psychiatric case register.16 They found that having used cannabis between one and 10 times at conscription increased the relative risk of schizophrenia to 1.3, the risk rising to 6.0 for those who had used cannabis on 50 or more occasions. However, this relative risk was reduced after adjustment for factors which independently contributed to the risk of schizophrenia. While this study provides some of the strongest evidence for a link between cannabis and psychosis, methodological concerns have been raised. These include the temporal gap between self-reported cannabis use at conscription and later schizophrenia, the potential confounding role of other substance use (particularly as amphetamines were a major drug of abuse during the study period), the adequacy of psychological assessment at conscription, and the reliability of self-reported drug use at conscription.3

Nevertheless, the association between cannabis use and schizophrenia is strengthened by studies which demonstrate that cannabis is widely used among people with schizophrenia. A recent study in Newcastle examined substance use in all outpatients with schizophrenia, finding 29.9% of subjects had some use of cannabis in their lifetime, with 7.7% and 28.3% of subjects having lifetime diagnoses of cannabis abuse and dependence, respectively.17 Notably, alcohol was more commonly used than cannabis, while amphetamines were the third most commonly used substance.