Schizophrenia and Mental Health Today

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Unfortunately, despite massive awareness campaigns in an attempt to educate people about mental health conditions and the issues surrounding them, there is still a stigma attached to people with mental health problems.

This is tragic in a society where 1 in 4 people are likely to experience a mental health problem of some kind in the course of their lives. That represents a massive quarter of the population. The simple truth is that any one of us can experience a mental health problem at any time no matter what age we are, whether we are male or female or no matter what our position in society is.

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health condition affecting one in a hundred people where the sufferer can experience terrifying delusions and hallucinations. Incredibly, there are still people who are completely ignorant about what schizophrenia is and may mistakenly believe that it is split personality (it isn’t), that people with schizophrenia are always dangerous (they are not) and that they shouldn’t be walking the streets.

With the right support, treatment and understanding people with schizophrenia are able to lead relatively normal lives in that they can work, maintain good relationships, take part in social activities, attend college, and bring up a family and so on and so on. Basically, they can do everything that anyone else can do. Indeed one in 5 people with schizophrenia do make a complete recovery. Unfortunately societal prejudices can often result in a person with schizophrenia feeling rejected, isolated and alone.

What you can do about it

Make sure you are aware of the facts surrounding mental health and if you believe that someone is being discriminated against because they have a mental health problem do something about it. If this is at work then tell your boss or their boss. If it is out with the workplace report it to the relevant authorities.

Together we can improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems and bring about a better society in general for all of us. We can do this by educating people and adopting an intolerant attitude to stigma and prejudice.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists suggest 3 ways that a modern society can improve life for schizophrenia sufferers a summary of which includes:

•    Educating the public to reduce ignorance and prejudice
•    Implementing anti-discrimination measures
•    Improving the availability of therapeutic services for sufferers and their family and friends

They have also produced a booklet called “Changing Minds” which is designed to make you think about the way you view people who suffer from schizophrenia and it you can obtain it from the Royal College of Psychiatrists website.

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