It’s 100 years since the Swiss Psychiatrist, Bleuler coined the term schizophrenia. Affecting 1% of the population, it ranks among the top 10 causes of global disability, yet remains misunderstood and surrounded by stigma. Prognosis depends on the individual and their environment, but also available treatment. This presents an opportunity to intervene.

In November 2011 Rethink Mental Illness launched our independent commission, chaired by Professor Sir Robin Murray. With expertise spanning health and social care, research, and lived experience of mental illness, we reviewed the capacity to support people with schizophrenia and psychosis in England. Recommendations arising from our inquiry call for a radical overhaul of the current system of care.


  • Scoping the current state of care, support and quality of life for individuals with schizophrenia and their families
  • Noting relevant research to inform our understanding of the causes, concepts, care and support available
  • Assessing the economic and societal impact of the schizophrenia
  • Reviewing public attitudes to the condition
  • Identifying priority actions that enable people with schizophrenia to fulfil their potential through improved outcomes

What did we do?

Our objectives were achieved in a year-long inquiry. We united experts across the country, compiling evidence in catalogue of events, service visits and an online survey. While our focus was delivery of adult mental health services, issues relating to young people, the criminal justice system, the homeless, co-morbid substance misuse and the role of prevention and community development were also considered.


Meet the commissioners

Professor Sir Robin Murray (Chair) – Professor of Psychiatric Research, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London Terry Bowyer – Lived experience of mental illness, campaigner and activist Dr Alison Brabban -Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust Dr Clare Gerada – Chair of Council, Royal College of General Practitioners Paul Jenkins – …

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Our terms of reference

In carrying out our work, the Schizophrenia Commission has Focused on treatment in health, social care and criminal justice settings in England while taking account of any relevant information from the other home countries and where appropriate from abroad. Reviewed existing national and international research (though large-scale original research has not been undertaken) Held a …

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What is the Schizophrenia Commission? It is a time limited piece of work that will produce a report in 2012 on Schizophrenia in England – current state of health and priority actions to improve outcomes. It is being run by 12 independent experts whose combined knowledge and skills will ensure that the Commission can actively …

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