Hearing distressing voices – reflections from rural health students and health workers

Lee Martinez1, May Walker-Jeffreys2

1UniSA Department of Rural Health, 111 Nicolson Ave, Whyalla Norrie, SA  5608, lee.martinez@unisa.edu.au
2UniSA Department of Rural Health, 111 Nicolson Ave, Whyalla Norrie, SA  5608, may.walker-jeffreys@unisa.edu.au

This paper will explore the development and implementation of a train the trainer hearing distressing voices (HDV) simulation training program resulting in the establishment of a group of rural based trainers with a lived experience and health professionals who co facilitate HDV workshops for undergraduate health students on placement in rural communities and health workers in South Australia.

Furthermore the paper will present;

  • The reflections of the students/workers who have participated in the HDV simulation workshops.
  • The delivery as well as the shift in empathy attributed to an experiential learning experience,
  • The value add for the students/workers participating in a learning experience co facilitated by a person with a lived experience.

Finally the paper will describe how the experience raised the awareness of living with a mental illness, reduced the stigma associated with hearing distressing voices for the students/workers and share what they aimed to do differently within their workplace as a result of the training.


Lee Martinez currently holds the position of Mental Health Academic with the Department of Rural Health University of South Australia and has lived in rural South Australia for most of her life. Lee’s research interests focus on consumer participation in their own care, service design and education.

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