We need teenagers to share their experience of hearing voices

Researchers in Sussex are looking for teenagers to volunteer for an important mental health study which is looking at young people who experience 'voice-hearing'.

Hearing voices is an experience that may or may not be connected with mental health difficulties. The Vista study ‘voice-hearing in young people: distress factors and social relating’ is being run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. 

Kat Rammou is carrying out the research and explains: “Hearing voices that others cannot hear is common in young people and is often described as the voice of someone standing right next to them, or coming from far away, or voices that are thought-like. 

“There is little research about ‘voice-hearing’ in young people, and the impact it might have on their social relationships and day-to-day activities and this is what we are investigating.

“Young people who hear voices may not feel able to talk about them because of fear of stigma but the results of the study will support the development of talking therapies and help young people with coping strategies to live their life better. To do this we need young people to share their experiences with us. Anything volunteers share in the study will be kept confidential and their personal details, like their name, will not be shared outside of the research team.”

Researchers would like to talk to young people living in East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove, aged 14 to 18 years old who are currently using a child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) or who are under the care of an early intervention in psychosis team. Both young people that do and do not have experiences of ‘hearing voices’ can take part.

Volunteers will complete questionnaires and take part in interviews across two or more sessions which can take place at a convenient location. Researchers offer £20 as a thank you to volunteers for giving up their time. 

If you are interested in taking part in the study, or know somebody who would be, contact Kat Rammou, Principal Investigator for the project, at Aikaterini.Rammou@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk, or call/text 07391868645.

To find out more about the Vista study, go to www.sussex.ac.uk/spriglab/research/current/vista_study or to find out more about Sussex Partnership and the services it provides, go to www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk.