Bypass the head and go straight to the heart

The Hearing Distressing Voices Simulation is a groundbreaking, empathy-building experience which helps students, mental health professionals and first responders understand the challenges and strengths of people who experience psychosis.

"Thank you Pat for allowing me to understand what a person goes through
on a daily basis. I don't have sympathy. I have empathy. "

Mental Health Professional

"I have a greater respect for what they go through,
and the courage it must take to get through each day. "

Nursing Student

"The Simulation was very powerful.
Now I understand why patients want to talk about their voices."


"I could not stop talking about it.
I know how to better understand my patients."

Medical Student

The Hearing Distressing Voices Simulation Toolkit

This toolkit contains everything needed to run a Simulation. The digital files include: a Presenter’s Manual, documents for printing, videos of Pat Deegan discussing the experience of Hearing Distressing Voices, and the Voices Soundtrack for use during the Simulation.

*During the Simulation, participants listen to the Voices Soundtrack using headphones and individual players. For your convenience, we also offer the  MP3 players pre-loaded with the Soundtrack below.

Economy Preloaded MP3 Players

Sold in quantities of 10

Premium Preloaded MP3 Players

Sold in quantities of 10

CommonGround Guide

As staff learn about the experience of distressing voices, help prepare them with tools to directly support people they are working with.  

This Guide contains:

  • information about the experience of distressing voices
  • workbook style exercises
  • Personal Medicine Cards
  • tracking tools
  • reflection questions


The research is in...

Over a dozen studies have demonstrated the Simulation increases empathy. It is an evidence-based practice used throughout the world.

Anderson Cooper Hears Voices

CNN's Anderson Cooper broadcast a 15 -minute special of his experience with the Simulation. 

Watch Now

Simulation Outcomes

Read the outcomes from over a dozen peer reviewed studies of the Hearing Distressing Voices Simulation.

Review Outcomes

Frequently Asked Questions

Developed by Patricia E. Deegan, PhD, "Hearing Voices" is a groundbreaking simulation that helps individuals, students, and professionals understand the challenges faced by people with psychiatric disabilities. During the simulation, participants listen to distressing voices through headphones while completing a series of tasks, such as taking a mental status exam in a mock emergency room. During the debriefing, even veteran mental health workers say that they have gained new insights into the strength and resilience of those of us with psychiatric disabilities.

The Hearing Voices Simulation Toolkit contains everything you will need to conduct the workshop in your organization. The digital downloads include:

  • Introductory video (55 minutes) from Pat Deegan during which she discusses:
    • The subjective experience of hearing distressing voices
    • How police, doctors, nurses, EMTs, families, and other first responders can help
    • Coping strategies
  • Presenter's Manual
  • Group Exercises & Instructions
  • Room Setup Diagrams
  • Handouts
  • Materials to help you advertise the Simulation
  • MP3 file of the 45-minute voices simulation

Preloaded MP3 players are an easy way to provide the Hearing Distressing Voices Simulation audio to your Simulation participants.

Both the Economy and the Premium Mp3 players come preloaded with the Simulation Audio, as well as chargers and earbuds. 

The Economy player is our most budget-friendly option (and can be less user-friendly), while the Premium is a higher quality, more reliable MP3 player.

Premium Player: Sandisk - 8GB Clip Jam MP3 Player
  • Durable & dependable player
  • Lightweight & wearable
  • Deep rich sound quality
  • Big bright readable screen
  • Large navigation buttons
  • Up to 18 hours battery life
Economy Player: RelyMedia - 128MB MP3 Player
  • Budget-friendly but less dependable
  • Preloaded with the Simulation audio track
  • Lightweight & wearable
  • Dual Color LCD (128 x 64 pixels)
  • Basic navigation buttons
  • Limited battery life


Once you place your order, you will receive an email with instructions on accessing the Digital Toolkit.

If you have also purchased MP3 players, it usually takes 4-5 business days for domestic orders and 7-10 business days for international orders to receive them. We will contact you when your order ships and provide you with a tracking number. 

Yes, we do accept purchase orders. Send us an email and we would be happy to help.

Have a question about the Simulation?

Need a purchase order?

We can help. Send us a note and we will be in touch.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.