The STARR Auditory Hallucination Simulation

The Auditory Hallucination Simulation (AHS) is a powerful exercise that simulates what it is like to have auditory hallucinations. It was created to help promote understanding and empathy for those experiencing mental health disorders.

Empathy-based training is a powerful tool to allow individuals to step into the shoes of someone who is living with a specific indication. The STARR Coalition has created an Auditory Hallucination Simulation (AHS) in which participants can experience one symptom associated with brain disorders, auditory hallucinations. This exercise has transformed perceptions of brain disorders for individuals who have participated in this exercise.


Many individuals living with brain disorders experience a litany of sensory perceptions. This causes a tremendous amount of difficulty performing day-to-day tasks. This computer-based simulation was created to give people a small glimpse into the mind of someone living with auditory hallucinations, most commonly associated with schizophrenia.

This type of empathy training gives providers of mental health services, family members, friends, peers and our communities a greater understanding of the complexities of living with schizophrenia. We hope this exercise gives you new insight and awareness.

It must be noted not everyone is willing or able to do this exercise. DO NOT perform this exercise if you have ever been treated for symptoms of auditory hallucinations. Also, not everyone is comfortable participating for various reasons. We suggest all staff participate but please respect the wishes of those who choose to abstain.


Unlike other auditory hallucination simulations, instead of passively listening, the STARR’s computer-based program requires you to complete several tasks.

Before you begin, please do the following:

  • Be sure to wear headphones. Just listening through speakers will not give you the same effect. Make sure the volume is high enough to block out any environmental noise.
  • You will need something to write with and a piece of paper. Do not use your phone or other devices for any section.
  • Please take a moment to answer the debriefing questions after completing the simulation. It is a part of the entire experience.
  • If at any point you become disoriented or want to stop, stop. Simply remove the headphones and proceed to debriefing.
  • And most importantly, if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness and have experienced auditory hallucinations, DO NOT DO THIS EXERCISE.

TRIGGER WARNING: if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness or have experienced auditory hallucinations, DO NOT DO THIS EXERCISE.


If you have any questions or need assistance in any way, please contact us.  We would be happy to work with you to include the AHS into your training program or curriculum.

Phone: 501-725-8890

The STARR Auditory Hallucination Simulation (AHS) program was created and is wholly owned by The STARR Coalition, a nonprofit organization working with thought-leaders throughout the research industry and advocacy to find ways to reduce stigma associated with mental health disorders and build relationships between clinical research sites and the advocacy groups within their community.


After the experience, it is common to feel anxiety, confusion, frustration, or exhaustion.

Take a few minutes to identify exactly how you are both physically and emotionally. It is nearly impossible to comprehend continually living with auditory hallucinations. The fact is, many individuals can experience other hallucinations such as visual, olfactory (sense of smell), tactile (sense of touch) and gustatory (sense of taste).

Click the window below for a sample of the exercise (turn volume up):

What those who have experienced the AHS have said…

“I never understood what my son has been going through for the last 20 years. I cannot imagine having to live with voices. This changes everything.” – Mother of child living with schizophrenia

“Eight minutes in this simulation helped me understand more about mental illness than years of studying about it.” – Student

“This will change how I work with people from now on. I will have more patience and understanding. This was powerful.” – Mental Health Professional

“I always thought when people were hearing things was because they were using drugs. I can see how people can have trouble following commands and I’m sure their anxiety about police can make things even more difficult.” – Pine Bluff Police Department Office

Pricing for Non-Member Access to the STARR Auditory Hallucination Simulation

TRIGGER WARNING: if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness or have experienced auditory hallucinations, DO NOT DO THIS EXERCISE.

Individual access the full version of the AHS program is $45/user.

Please note: access is NOT immediate – your payment will be processed and a link will be emailed to you within 48 hours.

The STARR AHS Program is available to groups from 50 to 1000, with group pricing starting at $12/user.