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World Mental Health Day focuses on schizophrenia

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Mental Health Day activities

Posted: Friday, October 10, 2014. 5:38 pm CST.

Augustina Elijio

Augustina Elijio

Friday, October 10, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Schizophrenia is an illness that is largely misunderstood and can lead to ostracization from the community and even family.

Feelings of paranoia, isolation, repeated mannerisms and actions, depressive and occasionally suicidal thoughts are among the symptoms. But it is treatable and you can get help.

On this World Mental Health Day organizers of an event at the Mental Health Welcome Center sought to draw attention to the battle against schizophrenia.

Nurse Augustina Elijio, Deputy Director of Health Services for Nursing, says schizophrenia is a disease like any other and its victims should not be made to feel less than adequate because of a condition that does not discriminate.

Kathy Esquivel

Kathy Esquivel

Instead they should seek to get help as soon as possible. Lady Kathy Esquivel is a former president of the Mental Health Association of Belize and its current secretary.

She has first-hand experience with schizophrenia, being a primary caregiver to a now-deceased relative.

She explains that it is important for family appreciating the importance of tackling mental illness as soon as signs appear.

The Mental Health Welcome and Resource Center in Belize City on Vernon Street hosts persons with mental disabilities and offers social support but Esquivel says authorities need to move forward into providing assisted living for affected persons.

 

 

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