News and Events Articles National Schizophrenia Awareness Day . National Schizophrenia Awareness Day National Schizophrenia Awareness Day takes place on 25th July 2021. It's there to raise awareness on the challenges faced by hundreds of thousands of people living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia in the UK and millions more worldwide. It sets out the steps we can all take to break down the stigma and discrimination surrounding this much misunderstood illness. In this article we aim to raise awareness, learning a bit more about schizophrenia, the challenges and some of the myths surrounding the condition. That way you can go on to spread the word and in turn raise awareness. What is Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a sever long-term mental health condition. It causes a range of different psychological symptoms. Doctors often describe schizophrenia as a type of psychosis. This means the person may not always be able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality. Symptoms of schizophrenia include: Hallucinations - hearing or seeing things that do not exist outside of the mind. Delusions - unusual beliefs not based of reality Muddle thoughts based on hallucinations or delusions Losing interest in everyday activities. Not caring about personal hygiene Wanting to avoid people, including friends Schizophrenia does not cause someone to be violent and people with schizophrenia do not have a split personality. This is a common misconception and one such stigma that needs to be done away with. Schizophrenia is better to treat the earlier you get diagnosed, so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms it's important you go to see your GP right away. Even though there is no single test for schizophrenia. It is usually diagnosed after an assessment by a mental health professional. Even though the exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, most experts believe the combination of genetic and environmental factors. It's thought that some people are more vulnerable to developing schizophrenia, and certain situations can trigger the condition such a stressful life events. There are many ways to get involved and help fundraise for national schizophrenia awareness day. The easiest is to talk about schizophrenia, read stories and learn about the condition as a whole. Then encourage someone else to learn more, raising awareness on the topic is one of the mot important goals. Another way you can help is through fundraising/ donations or even organise a walk with family and friends otherwise known as 'Walky Talky Day'. The 'Walky Talky' is a great way to get the chance to support people severely affect by mental illness through walking and talking. It is very simple to get started, choose a week to complete the challenged, find a 5k route and select your team. This will ensure everyone affected by mental illness will get the support and help they need. https://www.rethink.org/get-involved/ways-to-give/fundraising/get-active/walky-talky/ If you sign-up they will even send you free Rethink Mental Illness T-shirts to further raise awareness, not just Schizophrenia but other mental illnesses well. Some Schizophrenia fact: Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects the way you think. If affects about 1 in every 100 people. Schizophrenia may develop during early adulthood. There are different types of schizophrenia. You may experience 'positive' and 'negative' symptoms of schizophrenia. Positive symptoms are when you lose the ability to do something. For example, losing motivation to do things or becoming withdrawn. They often last longer than positive symptoms. Professionals are not sure of what causes schizophrenia. There are many different causes. The main factors that can contribute towards the development of schizophrenia are believed to be genetics and the environment. There are different types of treatments available for schizophrenia, such as medication and psychological treatments. You could be diagnosed with schizophrenia if you are experiencing some of the following symptoms; Hallucinations Delusions Disorganised thinking Lack of motivation Slow movement Change in sleep patterns Poor grooming or hygiene Changes in body language and emotions Less interests in social activities. Everyone's experiences of schizophrenia is different. Not everyone with schizophrenia will experience all of these symptoms. According to the Royal college of Psychiatrists, schizophrenia affects around 1 in 100 people. - - There are a few myths about schizophrenia that are simply not true. This is usually mistaken and it is because of how it is often portrayed in the media. For example; 'Schizophrenia means someone has a split personality' This is simply not true. The mistake may come from the fact that the name itself comes from the Greek words meaning 'Split' and 'Mind'. 'Schizophrenia causes people to be violent' Research shows that only a small number of people with the illness may become violent. The same way a small minority of the general public may be violent. People with schizophrenia are far more likely to be harmed by other people than other people to be harmed by them. But as these incidents can be shocking, the media often reports them in a wat which emphasises the mental health diagnosis. This can create fear and stigma in the general public. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash - So please do reach out and help raise Schizophrenia Awareness and share your stories, the more we can get people talking about schizophrenia the better. Follow the hashtag #NSAD2021 on twitter and help raise awareness!