This Schizophrenia Awareness Week leading mental wellbeing and suicide prevention organisation, selectability, is urging regional Queenslanders to challenge the stigma around the illness and encouraging anyone experiencing symptoms to seek the help they need.
Schizophrenia affects roughly 20 million people worldwide and there is no single cause and while it is a treatable mental health condition, stigma and false perceptions remain an issue.
selectability CEO, Debra Burden said the situation was improving, but it was still very common for people with schizophrenia and other mental health issues to encounter stigma.
“At selectability we understand that for people living with mental illness, stigma can compound the situation and add unnecessary stress,” said Ms Burden.
“Stigma can result in symptoms being ignored and people not seeking the support they need.
“This can lead to problems with physical health, relationships, employment and form a major barrier to a person’s recovery.
“Understanding is key to reducing stigma. With treatment and support people with schizophrenia and other complex mental health conditions can and do live fulfilling lives.”
Schizophrenia impacts a person’s thoughts, perceptions, emotions, and behaviour with psychosis as one of its main symptoms.
The sooner someone with symptoms can be assessed, the sooner effective treatment can begin and the better the outlook for recovery.
“If you are concerned about your mental health or that of a loved one there is support available,” said Ms Burden.
“A GP is a great place to start as they can connect you with a range of clinical and non-clinical services.”
Held from Sunday 23 May to Saturday 29 May, Schizophrenia Awareness Week “Discover Better Mental Health” aims to:
- highlight the voice of lived experience to support connection
- provide practical suggestions about how people can discover better mental health
- let people living with schizophrenia know that they can reach out for support if they need.
Selectability exists to improve the mental wellbeing of regional Queenslanders and contribute to suicide prevention.