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The most misunderstood mental illness

Despite the fact that almost 26 million people around the world have Schizophrenia, it remains one of the most misunderstood of all Mental Illnesses.

Schizophrenia affects how a person thinks, feels and acts. People with the condition find it difficult to tell the difference between real and imagined experiences, to think logically, to express feelings or to behave appropriately.

The illness causes an incalculable amount of individual pain and suffering. But, with the correct treatment, care and psychosocial support, a person with Schizophrenia can live a functional and successful life.

Sadly, less than half of those living with Schizophrenia receive the appropriate care – and about 90% of those who do not receive treatment live in developing countries such as South Africa.

Mental Health services need to be integrated into public health care, in order to increase the availability of services. Instead, there has been a reduction in the availability of psychiatric beds in public health facilities. And community based psychosocial support services have not been developed.

The result is that patients in need of treatment are sent away from hospitals without any support, leading to the classic 'revolving-door' phenomenon.

DonateDuring the month of October, and especially on World Mental health Day – 10 October – our aim is to focus awareness on Schizophrenia, reduce stigma and discrimination against those affected by the disease, and advocate for better services and increased funding for psychosocial rehabilitation programmes.

Please will you join in by making your donation now?

Click here for more information about the causes, diagnosis and treatment of Schizophrenia.

Click here for more information about the October 2014 Awareness Programme.

If you have other questions about Schizophrenia, please email them to info@safmh.org. Your question will be treated in confidence, and an infographic will be posted online on 13 October with all the most common questions and answers.

For more information or queries, please contact Fatima Seedat by emailing fatima@safmh.org or tel: 011 781 1852/071 858 2908



News and events

Schitzophrenia 'Stop Stockouts' campaign launched
The 'Stop Stockouts’ campaign has been initiated by PHANGO (Patient Health Alliance of Non-Governmental Organisation) in response to the frequent occurrence of medications being out of stock at clinics and hospitals.

Legal Advice World Suicide Prevention Day
With 23 completed suicides and 230 attempted suicides every day, South Africa is ranked amongst the top 10 countries with the highest suicide rate in the world

Brain diagram Help for those who are afraid
As we grow older childhood fears take on a different form. We may fear for our health, job security, safety, the devastating loss of a loved one, being able to retire comfortably, and much more.

Schitzophrenia Youth and Schizophrenia
With Youth Day being commemorated on 16 June, we want to send a special message to the Youth of South Africa, informing them about Schizophrenia – the warning signs and symptoms and where to find help.

Bipolar Awareness How much do you know?
According to the World Health Organisation, Bipolar Disorder is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world. However many people either have a misconception about the disorder or are unaware of its existence.





Charlene Sunkel shares her thoughts on schizophrenia

Click arrows on right to make picture full screen

Read about Charlene's life with Mental Illness


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