Schizophrenia Awareness Week 20 -24th May 2019

SCHIZOPHRENIA AWARENESS: A TIME TO DO SOMETHING

Since 1986, Schizophrenia awareness week has continued to be held every year.

The aim of this week is to:

  • Focus on stigma reduction towards people afflicted by schizophrenia,
  • Bust myths about schizophrenia illness
  • Promote help seeking behavior by the people affected by schizophrenia

Do you know what Schizophrenia is? Do you get scared when you hear this word being mentioned? Do you know that people with Schizophrenia have the capacity to work and they need your support in the workplace and in the community?

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is an illness that affects a normal functioning brain, interferes with the brain functions. It is manifested by disruptions in thinking affecting language, feelings, perceptions of self. An individual may hear voices or may have delusions. It can be mild or severe to an extent of interfering with work life, because of loss of acquired capability to earn a livelihood. Schizophrenia begins in adolescents or early adulthood. Schizophrenia can be effectively treated and those afflicted by this disorder can lead a productive life and be integrated in the society.

How can you tell if someone has schizophrenia?

  • People with this disorder present with confused thinking and their thoughts are not goal directed, do not join up appropriately or properly,
  • Their thoughts are illogical and their conversation is difficult to follow
  • They hallucinate: This is an abnormality of perception whereby the person sees persons or objects, hears voices, feels sensations on the skin, smells oduors, or tastes something that is not actually there in the present moment.
  • They have delusions: These are unrealistic beliefs or an altered perception of reality, often referred to as false believes held by an individual as real, however not shared by others of the same cultural, educational or religious background or people of the same community.
  • People with schizophrenia may have negative symptoms: They may lack emotional expression, motivation or interests and communication difficulties may be exhibited.

What are the early signs of Schizophrenia?

  • Social withdrawal
  • Hostility or excessive suspicion
  • Deterioration of personal hygiene
  • Flat, blank or expressionless gaze
  • Inability to cry or express joy
  • Inappropriate laughter or crying
  • Depression
  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • Odd or irrational statements
  • Forgetfulness or inability to concentrate
  • Weird/strange use of words or way of speaking

What causes Schizophrenia?

The exact causes of schizophrenia are unknown; however, some factors have been observed to trigger an onset of this disorder on a person who may be genetically predisposed. These include:

  • Stress
  • Use of drugs (marijuana, LSD or speed etc.)

How is Schizophrenia treated?

Note: This is a mental health disorder and requires specialized treatment.

  • A combination of anti-psychotic medication and other medicines
  • Support by the family and the other people in the community (show understanding & acceptance
  • Psychosocial support including: counseling, rehabilitation and guidance in job modification

People with schizophrenia can work, they feel better about themselves when engaged in a productive life, and when they don’t have to beg, contrary to the thinking of many people.  Work plays a critical role in recovery and moving forward with life, whether at school or at work (Dr. S. Jewell).

 

Know Facts about Schizophrenia:

  • Schizophrenia affects more than 21 million people worldwide
  • 1:100 people will develop schizophrenia at some time of their lives
  • It is treatable
  • One in two people living with schizophrenia does not receive care for the condition
  • Care of persons with schizophrenia can be provided at community level, with active family and community participation

(Ref: WHO)

 

In the UN work environment:

To support colleagues with Schizophrenia you and I are needed! Its team approach.

-Let’s support them to access treatment and counseling

-Let’s give them opportunity for skill development

-Let’s support them to get back on work- life track

-Let’s support them to be resilient

 

In the UN work environment:

To support colleagues with Schizophrenia and other mental health challenges you and I are needed! Its team approach.

-Let’s support them to access treatment and counseling

-Let’s give them opportunity for skill development

-Let’s support them to get back on work- life track

-Let’s support them to be resilient!

 

GOOD TO KNOW:

  1. UN - JMS is on course to ensure that you have a workplace that supports your mental health and well-being.
  2. UN Secretary General launched a UN Workplace Mental Health and Well-being strategy.
  3. UN workplace supports staff with Mental Health challenges and your support counts!
  4. You can contribute by being understanding, accepting, empathic and dropping down prejudice and stigmatization remarks of those challenged.
  5. You can participate by sharing your ideas on how we can have a mentally healthy work environment.

 

 

 

 

UN – JMS for Mental Health:                 

You can call now for more info or for a confidential consultation appointment via the following contacts:

JMS – Clinic: Tel. Nos. 020 762 2267 or 020 7624703      

Extns: 22267 or 24703