100 years since Eugen Bleuler coined the term, schizophrenia remains a stigmatised and misunderstood illness. Today a report is published on one of the largest ever reviews of the condition in England. We’d like to tell you about it - and how sharing a picture with your friends can help spread the message…
An independent inquiry
In November last year, Rethink Mental Illness launched the Schizophrenia Commission. Chaired by Professor Sir Robin Murray, this expert panel heard evidence from people with schizophrenia and psychosis, families, professionals, leaders of NHS and social services, academics, policy makers and journalists. Recommendations arising from their inquiry, released today, call for a radical overhaul of the current system of care.
The message that comes through loud and clear is that people are being badly let down by the system in every area of their lives Robin Murray – Commission Chair
The commission found that
- Only 10% of people with schizophrenia are being offered potentially life-transforming talking therapies such as CBT
- Mental health hospital wards are often such appalling places they make patients worse rather than better
- 1 in 3 people affected say they can't get quick access to services when they need it - and many don't know where to go for help
- Major concerns remain about the lack of efficacy and side effects of anti-psychotic drugs, which can lead to rapid weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease
The messageThe report suggests priority actions that directly affect services for people with schizophrenia. Key recommendations include:
- A complete overhaul of inpatient units including more widespread use of community based “recovery houses”
- A redirection of funding from secure units into early intervention services, which save the taxpayer money and prevent people reaching crisis point
- More research on the causes and treatment of schizophrenia and psychosis including the development of better drugs with fewer side effects
- The elimination of poor prescribing by psychiatrists and the right to a second opinion on medication for patients
- Extending access to psychological therapies and assertive physical health interventions
- A stronger focus on prevention, including clear warnings about the risks of cannabis
- Greater partnership with people with psychosis - valuing their experiences and making their preferences and goals central to their recovery
- Action to meet the needs of all marginalised groups, especially those from African and Caribbean communities
- A better deal for long-term carers who should be treated as partners, not problems
See what commissioners themselves say about the recommendations and clinical practice by reading their blogs.
You can help
Do you want more people to understand what schizophrenia is? Help combat the myths surrounding the illness. Please share our infographic on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks in advance for your support.
Rethink Mental Illness
My source: Pam Pinder c/o
and various media twitter and BBC Radio 4.
Do check the infographic link in the above text.
The next post will provide a conceptual reflection on the above using Hodges' model.