World Mental Health Day 2014
This year’s World Mental Health Day – which takes place today 10th October – shines a light on schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a diagnosis given to some people who have severely disrupted beliefs and experiences.
During an episode of schizophrenia, a person’s understanding and interpretation of the outside world is disrupted – they may:
- Lose touch with reality
- See or hear things that are not there
- Hold irrational or unfounded beliefs
- Appear to act strangely because they are responding to these delusions and hallucinations.
An episode of schizophrenia can last for several weeks and can be very frightening.
About one in 100 people will have one episode of schizophrenia, and two thirds of these will go on to have further episodes.
Schizophrenia usually starts in the late teens or early 20s, but can also affect older people for the first time.
The causes are unknown but episodes of schizophrenia appear to be associated with changes in some brain chemicals. Stressful experiences and some recreational drugs can also trigger an episode in vulnerable people.
At least 26 million people are living with schizophrenia worldwide according to the World Health Organization, and many more are indirectly affected by it.
An Assembly Member who has spoken out about his own experiences is supporting today’s World Mental Health Day.
Ken Skates, the Labour AM for Clwyd South, is backing the drive to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and increase support for those in need.
Mr Skates said:
“World Mental Health Day provides an ideal opportunity for all those affected by mental illness and people working in the sector to have a frank discussion, talk about their concerns and dispel the stigma.
“One in four of us will experience mental health problems at some point in our lives and it is critically important that we as a society get better at understanding issues around mental illness and that the services which are in place to help people.”
Mr Skates added:
“I would encourage everybody to mark this day by making themselves better informed about mental health matters.”
Flintshire Mind are releasing a new collection of poetry and prose written and published by staff, volunteers and clients o to celebrate World Mental Health Day 2014.
The book, which will shortly be available to download free through Flintshire Mind’s website, was the result of a year-long Creative Writing Group led by author and journalist Rhian Waller.
The book contains work from people who have not written a poem since they left school, as well as the work of professional writers.
What they all have in common is that each piece was written by people either battling with mental distress or those working to promote mental health. All of them are well worth reading with their message of humanity and hope.
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com