Imagine being alone while experiencing mental illness, without access to care, to safe housing and supports, living in poverty, you may not have to imagine it, you see it everyday in every community. The illness is treatable. Safe affordable housing, social and peer supports with counselling and crisis services, access to the right medical care at the right time and purpose through employment, education and volunteering are keys to recovery and wellness.
The Schizophrenia Society in Nova Scotia provides a safe housing option through building relationships with property managers, weekly house meetings for residents to address any problems, provide a room mate to fight isolation and develop healthy social relationships, offer volunteer/employment possibilities, share healthy living/eating and other options through programs. One to One peer support in community helps people receive support and build relationships with people who “get it.” We engage community and fight stigma with events like our Mindful Art project in 2017. Stigma and accessing care, is a risk to our mental health.
Schizophrenia can affect one in one hundred people of all races, cultures, socio-economic groups and occurs equally in men and women. There is no known cause, researchers believe a combination of genetics, brain chemistry and environment contribute to the development of the disorder. Access to timely treatment and supports can help people live full and healthy lives.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness, characterized by profound disruptions in thinking, affecting language, perception and sense of self. The symptoms appear typically between 15 and 30 and involve difficulty concentrating (paranoid behavior and unusual outbursts), disruption in thinking, lack of energy though unable to sleep, psychosis such as hearing voices or elusions, altered perception of themselves, others and the word around them, withdrawal from family and friends and seemingly depressed and may affect language.
The Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia has been supporting Nova Scotians for over 30 years by providing resources, education, individual and group support, advocacy, affecting public policy and encouraging research. We continue to grow programs and services based on the needs of the people we support in Nova Scotia. We rely on volunteers, donors and partners to allow us to continue to support people and their families/supporters in our province.