Letter to the Editor: National Schizophrenia Awareness Week

One in a hundred people will develop schizophrenia at some time in their lives.

Schizophrenia is a treatable illness that influences how you interpret information and make sense of your world. Symptoms can include confused thinking, delusions, hallucinations, difficulty expressing emotions and withdrawal from others.

Despite its prevalence, SANE research has found that schizophrenia is still misunderstood, with almost half of all Australians having poor understanding of schizophrenia and the everyday reality of living with the illness. As a consequence people with schizophrenia and their families too often experience stigma.

To help break down this stigma, SANE Australia has developed Snapshots, an online initiative at www.sane.org.  Using interviews and photographs, visitors are invited to get to know some ordinary – yet also extraordinary – Australians, revealing what it is like to experience mental illnesses, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder from the inside.

It is important for us all to understand that with effective treatment, recovery programs, family education and mutual support, the majority of people living with schizophrenia can lead full lives, participate in and contribute to their communities.

During Schizophrenia Awareness Week (16th – 22nd May) local communities across Australia will be raising awareness about the illness through a variety of public events. This is an opportunity to learn more about this misunderstood illness to ensure that much-needed treatment and support is available to all who need it.

Barbara Hocking
Executive Director
SANE Australia

pdf SANE Australia Letter to the Editor: Schizophrenia Awareness Week