Spend 5 Minutes in the Mind of Someone Who Has Schizophrenia

For those who have never experienced mental illness, it can be hard to imagine being in the mind of someone who has. This is especially true for illnesses like schizophrenia, characterized by hallucinations, false beliefs and a lost sense of reality. But one campaign is encouraging others to get in the mind of someone with schizophrenia — if only for five minutes — to spread awareness and understanding of what it’s like to live with a severe mental illness.

Launched by Places for People, a center that provides services for those with mental illness in St. Louis, Missouri, the Hear Our Voices campaign provides an online simulation of auditory hallucinations, similar to what individuals living with schizophrenia experience. More than 50 percent of individuals Places for People serves are living with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, according to its website.

The audio, called Mindstorm, is based on real experiences of those with schizophrenia.

Places for People suggests those who want to participate listen to the audio while doing everyday tasks like cooking dinner or walking to class. Then, participants are encouraged to share their experiences online using the hashtag #HearOurVoices.

According to its website, the goal of the campaign is to “reduce stigma around severe and persistent mental illness, specifically schizophrenia,” and “increase public empathy for individuals living with schizophrenia while providing education around the illness and other severe and persistent mental illnesses.”

If you’re interested in participating, you can listen to the audio here. If you or your family have a history of  mental illnesses or vertigo, you are advised not to participate in the stimulation.

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