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April 12, 2007
Leading a Good Life Despite Schizophrenia
Read more... Government & Schizophrenia · Schizophrenia Housing · Schizophrenia Housing · Schizophrenia Personal Story
Instead of being housed in institutions, "social rehabilitation and group treatment" facilities are on the rise in Japan, enabling more people with schizophrenia to live rich, fulfilling lives. Shining as a star example of how well such group homes can work, is the Bethel Home in Urakawa.
The Japan Times Online has a story about Bethel Home, which is a facility for psychiatric patients with schizophrenia who typically suffer from auditory or visual hallucinations. It also is a business run by the patients themselves.
The home's members are still treated by doctors at a nearby hospital on an outpatient basis. They learn about their own illnesses, and also about the symptoms of other members of the home thus enabling them to provide help, understanding, and support to each other. Masako Yoshino, who developed schizophrenia in her second year of high school, said that patients want someone to notice their hardships and they want to keep their ties with others.
One member who still has auditory hallucinations in spite of treatment says that "The name of the game is how to lead a rich life" while hearing them, and that they don't have to be debilitating.
Mitsuo Yamaguchi, chairman of the non-profit "National Federation of Families of the Mentally Ill" in Japan, says,
"Bethel Home members, grappling with many hardships, successfully fit into communities. We hope to learn from the dynamic way they approach their activities."
Karen Nakamura, an assistant professor of anthropology and East Asian studies at Yale University in the U.S. says that she would like to introduce a "Bethel" style community in the United States. She has paid three visits to the home in Urakawa and produced a documentary film about it.
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at April 12, 2007 03:15 PM
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