Opinion

Letters: Should Schizophrenia be renamed?

SHOULD schizophrenia be renamed to help reduce the stigma that surrounds the illness?

The suggestion continues to spark debate. There is no question that people living with schizophrenia are still stigmatised.

We know that people diagnosed as having schizophrenia die up to 20 years earlier than others in the community and a few years ago schizophrenia was declared the "abandoned illness" by the Schizophrenia Commission in the UK.

Now new research, the largest study to explore renaming the illness, has again highlighted the complexities of damaging stigma associated with diagnoses, particularly schizophrenia.

After surveying more than 1600 people, researchers in the UK concluded that "any decisions to rename should be made with caution".

"However, a decision not to rename may overlook an important opportunity to tackle damaging stereotypes..."

In Japan, after they changed the name, psychiatrists were almost twice as likely to tell their patients about their diagnosis.

Furthermore, 86% of psychiatrists said it was also easier to talk to their families and discuss treatments.

Award-winning Australian poet and author Sandy Jeffs has lived with schizophrenia for 38 years.

She says, somewhat despairingly, that even though mental health is discussed more openly and other mental health conditions become more visible, schizophrenia has retreated further into the shadows.

In a recent essay short-listed for the Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition, she says:

"One has to be brave to say, 'I have schizophrenia'."

What's needed most is a change of attitude across the community.

SANE Australia recently called on the Federal Government to put in place a five-year national stigma-reduction campaign.

During this year's Schizophrenia Awareness Week (May 17-23), I again urge the government to support this initiative.

Jack Heath,

CEO SANE Australia.

Gympie Times

Topics:  letters to the editor mental illness opinion schizophrenia



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

MP's best wishes for 'man of integrity'

NO QUESTION: Gympie MP Tony Perrett has congratulated former Nations leader and recent political retiree, Lawrence Springborg, on a career marked by "stand out integrity.”

Perrett congratulates retired colleague on "stand out integrity”

Are agents undervaluing Gympie properties?

Letter writer questions whether Gympie properties are being under valued.

Letter writer questions values put on Gympie properties

There's plenty to do today in Gympie

Heaps to do in Gympie today.

Support groups, gem clubs and markets; we've got you covered.

Local Partners

Laughter the best present

Bruce's latest adventure has Miss9 shooting straight from the hip, as usual.


Your definitive Gympie guide to school holiday fun

HANDS ON: Get the chance to create your own clay animals at the Gympie Regional Gallery.

Check out the amazing things to do over the school holidays.

GARAGE SALES: Where to grab a bargain this weekend

Several sales are being held in Rockhampton on Saturday as part of the national Garage Sale Trail.

Take a look at these treasure troves

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

Respect and Christmas joy

RESPECT: Gympie's Mary-Helen Buchan (right) performing at the Memorial Park Rotunda with fellow James Nash Vocal group singers Hadassah Covert, Red Smith, Jonas White and Naomi Kassulske.

Gympie singer takes the big Christmas message to Brisbane

Star Wars spin off gets green light grom Lucas

Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen star in the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Lucas said to have enjoyed the latest Star Wars spin-off

BOOK REVIEW: The Mask of Command

This narrative from Anicent Rome has it all

The tech-version of the old pop-up book is here

IS THE old cardboard pop-up book a thing of the past?

The apple and the worm

Gympie journalist Arthur Gorrie.

Progress leaps along, so let's look first

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!