Friday, June 10th, 2011
"The Psychiatrist, the psychologist and the ex patient: a frank discussion on schizophrenia" ( will provide a platform for Dr Dirk Corstens from the Netherlands, award-winning psychologist Eleanor Longden, and ex patient and Voices advocate Ron Coleman, to discuss their expertise and experience on schizophrenia and voice hearing, as well as share innovative ways on the treatment of schizophrenia and management the experience.

Joe Calleja CEO of Richmond Fellowship, the local mental health organisation behind International programme, said the new information on dealing with mental health issues could challenge thinking about mental health into the future.

“Voice hearing is often associated with schizophrenia, and the conventional response to schizophrenia is limited – it is currently believed that if someone is sick, they are sick forever and will never recover,” he said.

“This forum gives Western Australian’s an opportunity to consider alternative ways of viewing mental illness. Our speakers will bring to the table a compelling argument that will impact the way we deal with mental health issues and demonstrate that a person can live a much more meaningful life if the individual is looked at in terms of their total needs and not just a general diagnosis.”

The open forum discussion will share experiences ( of hearing voices and outline approaches based on personal experiences.

Richmond Fellowship of Western Australia ( has worked with the Mental Health Commission of Western Australia and UWA to bring the Australian programme together, which includes a four-day workshop for public mental health, non-government service providers and as consumers.

The purpose of the free public lecture is to expand the debate on mental health into the broader community and to help reduce stigma.

“As a leading mental health organisation, Richmond Fellowship believes it has a responsibility to bring people of this caliber from overseas to Australia, and particularly WA, because it is important to contributing to an active and open debate on mental health issue, as well as challenge conventional thinking,” Mr Calleja said.

“We want to support an environment where people can speak openly about what they feel and what needs to be improved. Mental health is a community issue and this event should attract the interests of people from all walks of life, such as students, academics, carers', consumers and service providers. It is truly a rare opportunity to contribute to significant changes to our system.”

Registrations for the Free Lecture will commence at 6:00pm for a 7:00pm start. The event will conclude at 8.30 pm.

9 June 2011

About Dr Dirk Corstens
Dr Dirk Corstens has been a social psychiatrist since 1992 (The Netherlands). He is educated in cognitive, psychodynamic and system therapy. Transactional Analysis and voice dialogue work.

About Eleanor Longden
Eleanor Longden is an award-winning psychologist currently working on her PhD and also with the Bradford Early Intervention in Psychosis Team (UK). As a past user of psychiatric services, she has a strong interest in promoting tolerance, awareness and positive explanations in mental health issues, and for the last four years has worked in both clinical and academic capacity to endorse creative, enabling approaches to experiences such as voice-hearing, unusual beliefs and self-injury

About Ron Coleman
Ron Coleman is an internationally recognised mental health trainer and consultant specialising in recovery and training. Ron’s own route to recovery, after spending 13 years in and out of the psychiatric system, has given him many insights into the numerous difficult issues facing today’s mental health services.

Contact Profile

Richmond Fellowship of Western Australia

Richmond Fellowship of WA (RFWA) is a non-government organisation and leading mental health organisation. RFWA was instrumental in introducing and promoting the Hearing Voices Network into Australia and is a leading proponent on ‘Recovery from mental illness. It is well-known for programs that integrate the key elements of Recovery with accommodation and psycho social support services.
Amanda Fay
P: 0408 807 870
M: -


A free public lecture held at the Octagon Theatre UWA on Wednesday 15 June 2011 will bring together three leading International mental health experts to challenge the way we approach mental illness and voice hearing in Western Australia.



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