Advocacy - Helping People that have Schizophrenia

People with Schizophrenia Need Your Support

Of the estimated 1 percent of the world's population stricken with schizophrenia, most remain largely disabled throughout adulthood. People with schizophrenia typically undergo a decline in IQ when the illness sets in as the disease ravages the brain - typically during young adulthood. Only a minority ever achieve gainful employment. Some 15 percent reside for long periods of time in state or county mental health facilities, and another 15 percent end up incarcerated for petty crimes and vagrancy. Roughly 60 percent of people that have schizophrenia (not surprisingly, given the nature of the disease) live in poverty, with one in 20 ending up homeless. Because of poor social support, more individuals with schizophrenia become victims than perpetrators of violent crime. (source: Scientific American)

Given the continuing difficulties in getting treatment and other assistance for people with schizophrenia, the persistent misunderstandings about schizophrenia in the general public, and the often cruel and unusual injustices that befall them - people with schizophrenia need as much assistance as you can give.

Perhaps the most tireless example of advocacy for the mentally ill was demonstrated by Dorothea Dix, who (for over 30 years) visited jails and workhouses to identify the mentally ill and get them improved treatment, and testified before state legislatures persistently and tirelessly to get them to build additional state hospitals so that the mentally ill could be treated better. Sadly, thing seem to have regressed in some ways since the late 1800s - we again (in the US) have more mentally ill in jails than in psychiatric hospitals.

Following is a short list of writings and audio recordings that outline some of the key issues facing people with schizophrenia - and how you might help resolve them. We encourage you to join in the battle against this devastating disease and the continuing injustices forced upon the people who suffer from it.

Advocacy groups to work with:

In the USA:

In Canada

In the UK




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