Schizophrenia stigma astonishing

It is Australia’s last ‘big un-discussable illness’.

The simple fact is that it is very misunderstood and affects up to one million Australians.

We want to make readers aware that there is an important free service that can support people in your area.

This free service is for people living with mental illness and their carers and family members, to help them find the support they need.

The initiative is called MiNetworks and local people in your area will be referred to the information and services they need by simply calling 1800 985 944.

You can also go to www.minetworks. org.au.

It is astonishing how much stigma there is around schizophrenia in the community.

Many think it is scary, hopeless, violent and untreatable. That is simply inaccurate.

Schizophrenia is a mental health condition. It can be managed.

People with schizophrenia do not have a ‘split personality’. They have one personality like everyone else.

We ask people to lobby local politicians and demand better services and more funding to support people with mental illness.

It is very disturbing to know that only about half the people affected by schizophrenia are even accessing clinical assistance.

In regional areas, services to support people are, at best, sparse.

This week is National Schizophrenia Awareness Week.

Schizophrenia is a common illness. It is treatable. Recovery and a good quality of life is possible for most people.

Anyone wanting more information should go to www.mifa.org.au.

I want to specifically pay tribute to all the people in your local area supporting people with mental health issues.

The amazing and vital work of carers must be applauded by us all.