Discussing Hot Topics Around Schizophrenia at “Re-Frame: The Broad Impacts of Schizophrenia”

When people are thinking about the effects of serious mental illness, everyone wants to hear from the person with lived experience. However, when discussing the effects of mental illness there is very little understanding on the wider impacts of mental illness, in particular on families and communities. The impacts of serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, are felt not only by individuals, but also by their families, communities and clinicians – as people struggle to understand and walk the line between acceptance and support.

Re-Frame: The Broad Impacts of Schizophrenia, brought people together to reflect on the full impacts of schizophrenia on individuals, families and communities. Important questions were raised about how to balance family involvement with an individual’s need for independence, how to secure stable housing for people with mental illness and how to support someone who is reluctant to accept treatment.

The discussions were open and honest, leading to interesting points coming up and an understanding between everyone who attended. It left people hopeful about how we can all work together to change the systems and understandings around mental illness.

People who attended this event left with the understanding that there are nuances of recovery, that it is complicated and that everyone is different. Care teams that include mental health clinicians and family members need to work with patients to determine what will work for them, and encourage them to take responsibility for their own recovery. Sometimes something is not the right fit and sometimes it just takes time.

In rural communities and more remote areas of the province, it will be difficult and challenging to find psychiatrists, but there should be a way to get individuals the services they need. There will most likely be a delay, but connecting with local B.C. Schizophrenia Society Regional Educators and Branches will help family members understand what is available to them in their own communities.

If you missed the discussion, summarized highlights on each topic can be found below:

B.C. Schizophrenia Society is looking to continue conversations like this in the future and if you have any questions that you would like answered, please email communications@nullbcss.org

Re-Frame: The Broad Impacts of Schizophrenia was made possible through the generosity of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Musette Caffè and Odin Books.