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Physiotherapists endorse schizophrenia awareness

11 March 2005

Physiotherapists endorse schizophrenia awareness

Increasing public awareness of serious mental illness and support for mental health patients is vital, says Kirsten Davie, President of the New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists, referring to Schizophrenia Awareness Week (this week, 7-13 March).

Working as part of a mental health team, physiotherapists treat patients’ physical problems as well as designing exercise programmes suited to their individual needs. Research shows the significance of exercise for all mental health consumers, says Ms Davie. In the case of schizophrenia, exercise can improve the quality and extend the span of consumers’ lives – combating the generally poor physical health and high mortality rates amongst people with schizophrenia.

The courage and determination of people with mental illness, admired by all the health professionals who work with them, should be recognised by the general public, Ms Davie says, adding that she hopes the public will give generously to collections around the country towards the work of the Schizophrenia Fellowship.

ENDS

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