Changing the environment of schizophrenia at the community level
Authors: Warner, Richard; Mandiberg, James
Source: Australasian Psychiatry, Volume 11, Supplement 1, October 2003 , pp. S58-S64(7)
Abstract:Objectives: One may categorise environmental factors as operating at the individual, domestic or community level. This paper reviews important factors influencing schizophrenia at the community level: the availability of work, economic disincentives to work and stigma and discrimination. Conclusions: Work helps decrease the alienation of people with schizophrenia and aids recovery. In much of the developed world, however, few people with serious mental illness are employed. To improve the employment of people with schizophrenia, we could (a) create small enterprises to provide opportunities for people with schizophrenia to work in a mixed workforce; and (b) look within the mental health service budget for possible contracts for consumer-employing business. People with schizophrenia are subject to prejudice, discrimination and stigma. Modern communication technology, however, can be harnessed to fight stigma and prejudice. At the local level, we can lobby the entertainment and news media and develop targeted campaigns. Some successful antistigma campaigns are described.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2003-10-01