Hear Our Voices


Thank you to everyone who joined us on October 8 at the Ethical Society of St. Louis for the Hear Our Voices Town Hall Forum moderated by Art Holliday of KSDK Channel 5.

Our panelists included:

  • Missouri State Senator Joe Keaveny
  • Dr. Collins Lewis, psychiatrist at Washington University
  • Joe Yancey, executive director of Places for People
  • Officer Chris Koester, Assistant Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator for the St. Louis County Police Department
  • Ashlyn Brewer, manager at Standing Partnership and vice president of the Social Media Club St. Louis Board

Meet the Hear Our Voices Town Hall Forum Panelists

We are fortunate to have five panelists, each with a unique perspective on mental health, joining us on Thursday, October 8, for the

Read More

Places for People’s goal in the “Hear Our Voices” campaign is to change peoples’ perception of individuals living with severe and persistent mental illness, specifically schizophrenia spectrum disorders, by inspiring people to participate in an activity that simulates the auditory hallucinations experienced by an individual living with schizophrenia.

The campaign has three primary goals:

  • Reduce stigma around severe and persistent mental illness, specifically schizophrenia.
  • Increase public empathy for individuals living with schizophrenia while providing education around the illness and other severe and persistent mental illnesses.
  • Increase awareness of Places for People, a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization providing an unparalleled toolkit of programs, services, and resources for people who have serious mental illnesses, typically accompanied by complex and multilayered challenges including chronic homelessness, substance abuse disorder, primary health disorders, and trauma.

How to Participate in Hear Our Voices

Step 1 – Download Audio

Download Audio

This audio was designed by Janssen, a pharmaceutical company. It is intended to bring more awareness to the experiences of people living with schizophrenia by allowing participants to walk in the shoes of a person living with schizophrenia.

WARNING: If you or your family have a history of mental illnesses or vertigo, we strongly advise that you DO NOT participate in this simulation as it could potentially trigger those illnesses to begin.

Step 2 – Listen to Audio During an Activity

  • Listen to the audio for 2 to 3 minutes while you are carrying out your daily lives, cooking dinner, getting on the bus, walking to class, doing laundry, working on homework, etc. (WARNING: If you or your family have a history of mental illnesses or vertigo, we strongly advise that you DO NOT participate in this simulation as it could potentially trigger those illnesses to begin.)

Step 3 – Share Your Experiences

  • Post, tweet, share your experience with friends, family, etc. via social media with a link to our website where others can download the audio
  • Use the hashtag #HearOurVoices
  • Use the talking points below for nuggets of knowledge to share, along with link
  • Challenge friends, family, etc. to experience the simulation as well, and if they don’t, ask them to give a gift to Places for People
  • Donate – Challenge – Advocate
  • More than 50% of individuals Places for People serves are living with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Schizophrenia is a serious disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and acts.
  • Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary; may be unresponsive or withdrawn; and may have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations.
  • Contrary to public perception, schizophrenia is not split personality or multiple personality.
  • The vast majority of people with schizophrenia are not violent and do not pose a danger to others.
  • Schizophrenia is not caused by childhood experiences, poor parenting or lack of willpower, nor are the symptoms identical for each person.
  • The cause of schizophrenia is still unclear.
  • Some theories about the cause of this disease include: genetics (heredity), biology (an imbalance in the brain’s chemistry); and/or possible viral infections and immune disorders.
  • Schizophrenia affects about 1% of the world population
  • In the United States, 1 in a 100 people, about 2.5 million people, have this disease
  • It knows no racial, cultural or economic boundaries
  • Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 13 and 25, but often appear earlier in males than females.

Tips for Sharing Your Experiences on Social Media


  • We encourage all partners to share/like/follow Places for People and like/follow the Places for People Facebook Page
  • Invite, promote and share the “Hear Our Voices” campaign.
  • Please use this tag when sharing your experiences in your postings #HearOurVoices
  • The best time to send out social media posts is in the morning, at lunch time, or at night


  • One in four adults−approximately 61.5 million Americans−experience mental illness in a given year. Learn more at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices. #HearOurVoices
  • One in 17 people−about 13.6 million−live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, learn more at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices. #HearOurVoices
  • 2.4 million People in the United States live with schizophrenia, learn more at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices. #HearOurVoices
  • Approximately 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness, and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders, learn more at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices. #HearOurVoices
  • 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition, and at least 20% live with a severe mental illness, learn more at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices. #HearOurVoices
  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year, learn more at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices #HearOurVoices
  • About 9.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders, learn more at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices #HearOurVoices
  • Approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition, learn more at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices #HearOurVoices
  • Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for people ages 15 to 44, learn more at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices #HearOurVoices


  • Follow Places for People on Twitter at @PfPSTL
  • We encourage all participants to retweet and favorite posts related to the Hear Our Voices campaign
  • Post your own tips on how our community can find mental health resources
  • Don’t forget to use #HearOurVoices when tweeting about this campaign so everyone can find your tweets
  • The best time to send out social media posts is in the morning, at lunch time, or at night
  • Dare or challenge your friends to also participate and share their experiences.


  • 1 in 4 adults experience mental illness. @PfPSTL offers hope and recovery. #HearOurVoices
  • Join me in participating in the @PfPSTL #HearOurVoices challenge http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices
  • Mental illness affects all of us. Join @PfPSTL and #HearOurVoices at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices.
  • Change perceptions of #mentalillness. Join @PfPSTL and #HearOurVoices at http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices.
  • Try to perform your daily activities while you #HearOurVoices. http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices
  • 1 in 100 people in the US, about 2.5m, live with schizophrenia. Learn more by participating in #HearOurVoices. http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices
  • Schizophrenia symptoms usually appear between ages 13 and 25. Learn more by participating in #HearOurVoices. http://www.placesforpeople.org/hear-our-voices