Dear SPIRIT Community,

As we come to the end of Mental Health Month, we aim to recognize and destigmatize psychosis in all its forms. May 24th is World Schizophrenia Day, a time dedicated to raising awareness and promoting care for this mental illness that affects 1 in 300 people worldwide.

Schizophrenia is characterized by a group of symptoms collectively called psychosis, which can include strange or illogical thoughts and/or unusual perceptions like hearing voices. It affects more than 21 million people across the globe, and 3 in every 100 people in the United States will experience an episode of psychosis at some point in their life. Schizophrenia most commonly emerges in late adolescence or early adulthood, between the ages of 15 and 28. While these symptoms can present challenges, schizophrenia is a highly treatable condition. Psychosis can be understood and modified through a wide range of specialized, evidence-based treatments, and persons diagnosed with schizophrenia can live full, meaningful lives pursuing what matters to them.

World Schizophrenia Day was established by The Schizophrenia Foundation to honor Dr Philippe Pinel, a French physicist in the late 1800s who developed the foundation for more humane and respectful treatment of patients with mental disorders. His approach to therapy was similar in scope to mental health practices today.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Power of Community Kindness.” At SPIRIT lab, we believe recovery is possible through holistic care. We support providing not only medication and therapy but peer support, employment & educational guidance, and family involvement. We partner with New Journeys to promote early intervention and treatment, and provide training for clinicians and agencies on how to identify and treat early psychosis. Through our Psychosis REACH (Recovery by Enabling Adult Carers at Home) program, we train caregivers on communication skills and basic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis practices, to give them the tools they need to form relationships and provide support to their loved ones.

If you have any questions about the above material or anything you want to share about your experiences with schizophrenia, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Whether you’re a mental health professional, someone whose life has been directly affected by psychosis, or an ally to the cause of advancing care for persons with serious mental illness, we welcome your perspective. Together, we can work to ensure that there is more to celebrate on all the World Schizophrenia Days to come.

 

If you would like more information or support, please view any of the available resources on our website and elsewhere below:

  1. Psychosis Support | SPIRIT Lab at the University of Washington (uwspiritlab.org)
    • Learn more about psychosis, how to recognize it, and what resources are available.
  2. Home | Psychosis REACH
    • Our Psychosis REACH program teaches families and caregivers the skills they need to help support their loved one with psychosis. Find out more about the program and the next training date.
  3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) | SPIRIT Lab at the University of Washington (uwspiritlab.org)
    • Learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis, the treatment adapted from traditional CBT to address psychosis-specific concerns and issues.
  4. First Episode Psychosis | New Journeys | Washington State (newjourneyswashington.org)
    • Refer an individual with early psychosis to treatment in Washington state.
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