London, 21st March

On March 21st 2012 we held an event at The Kings Fund in London where we heard from people with direct lived experience of schizophrenia or psychosis.

People travelled from all over the country to share their experiences, and we are grateful that we  heard  views from a diverse group of people.

There were group discussions with the commissioners about what works well and what needs to change  to  improve support for people who experience psychosis;  how people feel, and the barriers they face within and outside the current mental health system.

There was a general consensus:

  • The label of schizophrenia and stigma that surrounds the diagnosis is a barrier to recovery. Psychosis is a better term but also has its own problems. Cateogorising can dehumanise – person centred approaches are crucial.
  • Peer support is ’priceless’ – and a cost effective approach to supporting recovery
  • The need for informed patient choice and ‘User-led’ initiatives, and more access to alternative treatments to medication
  • Encouragement, hope & choice are vital components of support and recovery
  • Employment and empowerment - a sense of purpose aids the recovery journey

Thank you to all who attended, we found it an immensely valuable and enjoyable session, and hope you did too!

Material from the ”History of schizophrenia: Discuss” seminar and discussion, presented by commissioners Professor Sir Robin Murray and Dr Alison Brabben will be available online shortly.