In this mesmerising opening episode of season two, Leon Fernandes is joined by Ruah Grace who talked about her life-long experience of hearing voices. A deeply spiritual character, Ruah recently departed this life after suffering a short illness. This episode is dedicated with love, to Ruah, her partner, family, and friends.
Ruah’s voices took on many guises from warm and loving, to sinister and deadly.
A lived-experience advocate in mental health, Ruah reflected on her Māori-Irish heritage, childhood sexual abuse and psychiatric drug treatments. Ruah characterised her voices as ‘glorious intruders’ and explained their spiritual, cultural, and familial significance.
An Indigenous Maori, Ruah was connected by blood to the tribes of Ngati Awa, Te Arawa and Ngapuhi. A proud member of the rainbow community, Ruah described herself as, “..queer, transfemme, pan/demi romantic, relationship anarchist, writer, artist, musician and one of the mystical and beloved children of The Great Mother/The Divine Feminine.”
Hearing Voices Support
There are groups around Australia that are run by and for people who hear voices. These groups provide peer support, dealing with ways that people navigate hearing voices with or without medication.
Australian Hearing Voices Network Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AustHVN/
Intervoice (International Hearing Voices Projects) is a charity, registered in the UK, that aims to support the International Hearing Voices Movement by connecting people, sharing ideas, distributing information, highlighting innovative initiatives, encouraging high quality respectful research and promoting its values across the world. It contains a number of resources and links to groups in Australia – https://www.intervoiceonline.org/about-us#content
Doug Holmes, valued members of our IAMF! advisory group, is also Chairperson of Hearing Voices Network in NSW. He beautifully articulates his experiences of hearing voices here: https://wayahead.org.au/hearing-voices-doug-holmes/
This podcast includes discussion around topics such as depression, stigma and suicide. We acknowledge that this content may be difficult. We also encourage you to care for your safety and well-being. You can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or access the Suicide Callback Service on suicidecallbackservice.org.au or 1300 659 467