What will Students and Teachers Gain from the "Reaching Out" Program?

  • A greater understanding of what is schizophrenia and hence increased sensitivity in dealing with students when mental illness might be present.
    • This is important since schizophrenia first presents itself between the ages of 15-25... yet most young people have limited knowledge of mental illnesses and mental health in Canada in general, resulting in mental disorders stigma being attached to the illness.
    • Mental disorders stigma is one of the major barriers to accessing effective treatment, thus jeopardizing path to mental health recovery
  • Awareness of the early warning signs...and the power to help a friend in need.
    • Early symptoms may mimic drug use or be attributed to "growing pains," but close friends and teachers are best able to notice significant behavior changes... so that early intervention and diagnosis can be achieved.
  • Guidance on what to do if one suspects a friend may have schizophrenia.
    • Students will learn how to approach a responsible adult if they are concerned so that the sufferer can obtain the support and schizophrenia treatment he or she needs.
    • Teachers will discover the wealth of resources available to provide support for people in need of mental health help
  • Young people will learn that there is hope for mental health recovery and for a full, productive and happy life
    • New medications and recent advances in brain research mean that people with schizophrenia can lead lives of purpose and quality... especially if treated early.
  • This is a powerful first step in helping to alleviate society's fear and ignorance of mental illness and encourage greater empathy and understanding.
    • People with schizophrenia and their families suffer in heartbreaking isolation. "Reaching Out" invites a more compassionate and involved role for those whose lives are touched by mental illness.