'A 2010 Australian national survey (Morgan et al., 2014) found that 54.8% of participants who had experienced multiple episodes of psychosis went on to achieve a partial or good level of recovery between episodes,' Mr Heath said.
'Additional research cited by the RANZCP reveals that about one in seven of those who meet the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia, ultimately achieve nearly complete recovery (Jaaskelainen et al., 2012).
'What this clearly tells us is that living with schizophrenia is far from being a life sentence and that recovery, to a lesser or greater degree, is genuinely possible.
'The research also tells that there is emerging evidence that early detection and treatment of schizophrenia are associated with better long-term outcome (Craig et al., 2004; Ten Velden Hegelstad et al., 2012).'
Mr Heath said a focus on providing support and treatment before and during a first episode of psychosis can reduce the likelihood of future episodes as well as the impact upon other areas of life.
'A renewed focus on early intervention and treatment will not only boost prospects for recovery but potentially lessen the need for more intensive treatment at a future point,' he said.
'Early intervention programs aim to identify young people at high risk of psychosis and engage them with support. Recognising the symptoms and connecting people at risk with appropriate services offers valuable support when and where it’s needed most.
'Combined with an ongoing effort to reduce stigma associated with conditions like schizophrenia, this has the potential to change many lives for the better.
'That’s why during Schizophrenia Awareness Week, SANE is calling on all political parties to commit more resources to early detection and treatment programs and services for psychotic illnesses, including schizophrenia.
'SANE looks forward to continuing to work closely with all the major political parties in making this reality on behalf of all Australians living with a mental illness.'