August 28, 2006
How Schizophrenia Survivors are Offering a Helping Hand
There is a good story in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper (Canada) this week on how people who have schizophrenia are helping their peers.
Following is a short excerpt:
Mark Callingham beams as he talks about his job as coordinator of a new peer support program at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. The job has given him the chance to connect with people who, like himself, have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
"I'm a survivor of schizophrenia," says Mr. Callingham. "I have an understanding of it that no university degree can give you."
Mr. Callingham, 40, was diagnosed 12 years ago with the mental illness, and his struggle left him with the desire to help others with their recovery.
"You always think there's a reason why it happened to you. When you're recovering, you wish there was something positive you could do from your experience."
The two-month-old Wellness Project pairs the hospital's schizophrenia patients with volunteers who have all experienced mental illness, and went on to rebuild their lives. The volunteers undergo 10 days of training and a police check.
The patients, usually on the cusp of being discharged from the hospital, are referred by their doctors. They fill out a questionnaire about background and interests, then are matched with a volunteer for weekly meetings where they can confide in, and learn from people who have endured similar experiences.
At the same time, the patients develop a wellness plan -- a strategy for coping and managing their health, based on what they've learned from their mentor.
The program is run by Mr. Callingham and Dr. Ron Bell, the project leader and psychologist, who said such a program is unique, and that others in the mental health field are watching with interest.
Read the full story here: Canadian Schizophrenia Support Program
(Special thanks to Tim for pointing this story out to us).
Posted by szadmin at August 28, 2006 10:44 PM
More Information on Schizophrenia Personal Story
I think that consumers should be paid to do this service. What better way to prove that this is a valuable tool in recovery than by granting schizophrenics an income to give services to their peers. Volunteers are being sought for a similar mentoring service in Los Angeles and I would love to do it; but only if I will be compensated for it.
Posted by: Heather at August 29, 2006 06:53 AM
THIS IS A GREAT SCHEME. I WISH IT WAS IN BRITAIN. SHOWING CONCERN FOR OTHERS RECOVERY ONLY CAN HELP SOMEONE SEE PURPOSE IN THE WORLD. YOU MUST BE STRONG AND LOVINGLY GIVING TO DO THIS WORK, WHICH MUST MEAN YOU ARE WELL ON YOUR WAY TO RECOVERY.
Posted by: LOUISE at August 30, 2006 05:20 PM
I'm a peer support specialist in Pennsylvania. I get paid, and soon my job will be billable to insurance, which will hopefully open up more interest in this new field.
Posted by: Alanna at September 10, 2006 08:31 PM
im jhay im 27 years now and just diagnosed having schizophrenia.. this really made my life miserable and don't know how can i move on... im a nurse and still planning to practice my profession.. since this time i will no longer be effective this time to my patients since i forget things easily and because of bizaare behavior i am manifesting... i would like to be strong and i know though each day seems to be no tomorrow, i am still hoping that GOD will give me strength to over come this.. my family didn't know yet my condition.. cause i tried not to show it to them though i know they already know that i am already manifesting psychosis.. they still deny it, cause they know the stigma brought about this psychosis.. if ill be given a chance i would like to give support to people having this disorder and tell them that even if i am having ambivalence that the chance of healing has no assurance.. faith to GOD and courage to overcome this will be a helpful way in reaching people having this chronic disoder... i would like to leave my mobile number for those people who need my support if ever needed!! we can make overcome this!!!! GODbless!!!! +639064686219
Posted by: jhay at March 7, 2007 05:04 AM
I know. It is insurmountable the things we have to deal with. What I don't like is people looking down on us. If they had to deal with all that is taken from us and all the bad times, I'd like to see them as chipper as we are. It is hard to stay positive. See my blog on Schizophrenia.com - Joan of Arcs blog
Posted by: brenda at January 4, 2008 08:40 PM
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