National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Schizophrenia Report Summaries

NAMI, represented by Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI medical director, and Lisa Halpern, a NAMI member who lives with schizophrenia, participated in a several meetings with European and American researchers to inform the report’s recommendations, specifically to identify those that translate globally.

Dr. Duckworth reported that "many of the same challenges we face here also exist in Europe.” Some examples of these distinctions include:

Areas of common focus:

  • There is a clear consensus on the need for better research into the causes of the disorder and also for more effective treatments particularly for negative and cognitive symptoms.
  • There is a keen focus on the need to promote more community acceptance.
  • The importance of involving people with lived experience in policy making and the recovery movement are key.
  • Both European and U.S. representatives felt that families should be more engaged in care by providers.
  • Evidence based treatments are hard to come by in all countries and there is a need to improve care integration with medical care, surprisingly even in a system that has universal health insurance such as the U.K.
  • Access to a qualified workforce was another common thread that is echoed in this report.

Areas of different focus:

  • The European countries have more of an expectation of housing and insurance coverage for everyone than the U.S.
  • Homelessness for people living with schizophrenia is much less of a problem in Europe.
  • Different language is notable –for example, the word ‘patient’ is simply viewed a term of honor in European countries, whereas this has been a source of contention in the mental health community in the U.S.

A summary of the report, for the general public, and a recommendations report for policymakers will be available soon.