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500 attending NZ schizophrenia conference

500 attending 25th anniversary NZ schizophrenia conference

Up to 500 delegates will attend the 25th anniversary conference of the Schizophrenia Fellowship NZ at the Christchurch Convention Centre on September 13 and 14.

Guest speakers from the United States, England, Australia and New Zealand will talk to the conference about mental health issues.

The two-day conference will be chaired by Mental Health Commissioner Jan Dowland.

The Schizophrenia Fellowship was formed 25 years ago in Christchurch and it now has 19 branches and 2 sub-groups throughout New Zealand. The fellowship supports family (whanau ) of people who experience a major mental illness.

Renowned American Professor Charles Rapp will speak to conference delegates about the ‘strengths model of case management’, how it can help in recovery and the importance of hope-inducing methods.

Leading New Zealand psychiatrist Dr. Graham Mellsop will talk about mental health services around the world and describe the New Zealand experience.

Sandra Tam, who works with Asian youth in Christchurch, will talk about some of the mental health problems Asian students from overseas face due to their isolation. Another speaker, Simon Tam, will give an overview about Chinese gambling problems.

Dr Peter Hindley from the UK will explain how the majority of deaf people are mentally well, but are at greater risk than hearing people of developing mental health problems.

Health Minister Annette King will be guest speaker at the conference dinner on September 14.

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