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Schizophrenia Awareness Week: Supporting Families


Schizophrenia Awareness Week: Supporting Families in Mental Illness

SF New Zealand will be celebrating Schizophrenia Awareness Week (March 10 -16), with a whole host of topical and colourful events from Invercargill to Whangarei.

The theme of Schizophrenia Awareness Week 2008 is Supporting Families in Mental Illness, in recognition of the challenges faced by families/ whanau/ aiga with a relative experiencing serious mental illness.

There are thousands of New Zealand families facing the challenges of living with a family member who has a serious mental illness, often without adequate support.

“People with a mental illness are not ill in isolation and families/whanau /aiga can play a key role in their recovery process” says SF New Zealand Chief Executive Florence Leota. љ “When a family member develops a mental illness, families find themselves facing challenges that they have no training for and often feel isolated, overwhelmed and confused about how best to help their relative.

љ“There are many families that provide day-to-day care for relatives with little or no support for themselves.љ

“This is where SF branches across New Zealand step in’, says Ms Leota Ђ ‘we provide information, support, education and advocacy for families/ whanau/ aiga in 21 towns and cities nationwide.

“Families often feel frustrated by the lack of services for their relative, and even when services are available, the family’s crucial role in their relative’s recovery process often goes unrecognised

“We know that if you provide families with education, information and support, that the outcomes are better for everyone.

“During Schizophrenia Awareness Week, we will celebrate the positive work carried out by our branches and applaud the wonderful support that families provide on a daily basis.

“We want to highlight the importance of supporting families and acknowledging that they can play a key role in the recovery process when a family member has a mental illness” concluded Florence Leota.

- ENDS -

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