A diagnosis of schizophrenia can be devastating. It is therefore crucial that those diagnosed are provided with complete, accurate information that explains what schizophrenia is, answers questions about what it means and helps them to come to terms with their illness.
Understanding Your Schizophrenia Illness provides mental health professionals with a structured framework for delivering this information to clients. Developed by psychiatric nurse Chris Healy, it is a complete, educational resource that professionals and clients can work through together. Its six sections provide an overview of schizophrenia, its possible causes, its symptoms, treatments and how to cope with life post-diagnosis. Each section also includes questionnaires, case studies and FAQs.
I first trained as a general nurse over 30 years ago and admit to feeling out of my depth at times regarding understanding those with mental health issues. My ignorance and attitude were partly shaped by negative media reports. But since training as a staff nurse in psychiatry I have gained much insight and understanding of sufferers and their families.
I have worked for nearly 12 years on a medium-secure ward; most of the clients I nurse have committed crimes while suffering from their illness. It is not common that those with mental health issues commit crimes but, if their illness is left untreated and allowed to become more and more severe, sufferers who are acutely ill may unintentionally end up in prison.