The Early Psychosis Peer Recovery Network of BC is hosting a monthly virtual peer support group on Zoom for young adults personally affected by early psychosis. The group takes place on the first Monday of every month from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, except on statutory holidays. The group is organized and facilitated by peers, meaning people with personal experience. For more information, scan the QR code on the poster below, or email email@example.com.
There is a new Voices & Visions support group meeting at Raven Song Community Health Centre in Vancouver! The group is drop-in and open to the public, meaning you do not need a referral or to be a client of a mental health team. The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. For more information, visit the Spotlight on Mental Health Website or email VanVoicesAndVisions@vch.ca. Or, to find another support group, check out our list of local groups here.
The virtual North Shore support group, which normally takes place on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 5-6 pm, is being paused due to decreased attendance. If you would still like to come to a virtual support group, please visit the Virtual Groups page for a list of current virtual groups. Virtual groups remain open to anyone, including North Shore residents.
There is a new in-person Voices and Visions Support Group being held at South Mental Health and Substance Use Team in Vancouver. The group is drop-in, and you do not need to be a client of the team (or any mental health team) to attend. Read on for more information, or visit the Vancouver groups page to find another group in Vancouver.
Voices and Visions Support Group
Time: 2nd Monday of each month 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: South Mental Health and Substance Use Team 220-1200 W. 73rd Ave, Vancouver, BC 604-266-6124
Do you feel alone with your unique sensory experiences, unsure of the experiences of your loved one, or simply want to meet people in the same boat as you?
Our Voices & Visions support groups are led by peers (people with lived/living experience with unique sensory experiences). This group provides help and support, and meets in-person on the 2nd Monday of each month.
This group is offered on a drop-in basis and is open to those with lived experience and their supporters.
The North Shore Voices and Visions virtual support group is introducing a discussion focus for the first session of each month (on the 2nd Thursday of the month). The group will still be meeting on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month from 5 to 6 PM on Zoom, and is open to anyone who hears voices, sees visions, or experiences other unusual perceptions or beliefs. The group is drop-in, and your supporters are also welcome to attend. To learn more about the upcoming discussion topics, keep reading! Or, for the Zoom link to attend, visit the group page.
For each month and discussion topic, we’ve listed some questions to get you thinking. What does each topic mean to you? Drop-in on the second Thursday of the month on Zoom to share your thoughts.
August 11: Self-care
What does self-care mean to you? What practices are important to you for your wellbeing? How do you define wellbeing? How does self-care affect your voices/visions, and how do your voices/visions affect your self-care? What is the role of community and personal relationships in self-care? How effective is self-care for you? Are there limits to self-care?
September 8: Community and relationships
What does community mean to you? What are the most important relationships in your life? What are your experiences being in community spaces as someone with voices/visions? Do supportive communities/relationships help you to cope with distressing voices/visions? Are there challenges to being part of a community, as someone who experiences voices/visions? In your opinion, what would it mean to be part of a community of people living with voices/visions? What conflicts/tensions do you perceive in this community (or in other communities), or what do you value about it? What do you think this community has to offer?
October 13: Exploring the uniqueness of our perceptual experiences
“Hearing voices” and “seeing visions” mean a lot of different things to different people, and not everyone who comes to this group experiences either. What is it like for you when you experience your unique perceptions or beliefs? For instance, if you hear voices, where does the voice come from? Is it inside or outside your head? Do you hear the words clearly? Do they sound like a “normal” sound or not? Other types of experiences can include seeing, feeling, smelling, or tasting things that other people don’t, but they can also include the world seeming to transform in ways that are harder to describe. Here is a podcast interview that discusses how much people’s experiences can vary:
November 10: Self-image and identity
How do your voices/visions affect how you feel about yourself (or do they have an effect at all)? Do your voices/visions reflect how you feel about yourself – for instance, do they seem to pick up on your insecurities, worries, or self-esteem, or are they unrelated? What coping strategies do you use? Does the way other people think of or talk about your voices/visions affect you, in a good or a bad way? What else affects how you feel about yourself? Does it change a lot, or does it stay the same? Has your perception of yourself changed since you started experiencing voices/visions?
December 8: Rights, access, and advocacy
Have you been in a situation before (for instance, healthcare, employment, housing) where you felt like your rights were violated or you were treated differently because of your experiences with voices/visions? What did you do about it, or what do you wish you could have done at the time? Were there resources you found helpful? What do you think could be changed to prevent or improve this type of situation? What advice would you give others? Is there anything you wish you had known about your situation, or that you think other people (friends, family members, professionals, etc) don’t always understand?
Starting Friday, July 15th, the 3rd Friday of the month group in Vancouver will be meeting in-person at Three Bridges Community Health Centre instead of over Zoom. All other Vancouver support groups listed on the BCHVN website will still be meeting virtually. The group will still be drop-in, and you don’t need to be a client of a mental health team or to have a referral to join – everyone is welcome! To see the full list of open Hearing Voices support groups in Vancouver, click here.
Three Bridges Voices & Visions support group
When: 3rd Friday of every month, from 2:30-3:30 pm (PST)
Where: Three Bridges Community Health Centre Room 123 (Ground Floor), 1128 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC
The Zoom link to attend the North Shore Voices & Visions support group has been updated. Please make sure you use the new link listed on the North Shore page to attend the next meeting on February 24th – the previous link listed on older flyers, emails, blog posts, etc. will no longer work!
The Thursday Vancouver support group will now be held from 11 am to 12 pm (noon) instead of in the evening. This group is held over Zoom on the first Thursday of every month. You can visit the Vancouver groups page for more information, or see the flyer below.