1 in 100 brings a much needed information resource to Wales where the majority of people affected by schizophrenia are still being denied the newest and most effective medication for their condition. Schizophrenia is a devastating mental illness characterised by hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, depression and social withdrawal. The campaign provides guidance for people living with schizophrenia and their families, including a pocket-sized card to assist them when they discuss treatments with their doctor, helping them to make informed choices about medication.
Speaking at the launch on Friday 8th October, Jane Hutt said: “Mental health is still very much a priority for the Welsh Assembly Government, and I welcome the 1 in 100 campaign as a positive contribution to our mental health strategy.
“This initiative aims to help people to have a better understanding of schizophrenia and the range of treatments that are available. It also stresses how important it is for people to have an informed relationship with their doctor and other healthcare professionals involved in caring for someone with schizophrenia and provides comprehensive, clear, appropriate and helpful information in an appropriate format.”
Advocacy groups, service users, carers and healthcare professionals attended the launch where campaign representatives discussed 1 in 100 and issues surrounding its relevance and importance in Wales.
One of the current, most pressing issues that 1 in 100 aims to address is access to treatment choice for people affected by schizophrenia. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that the most modern medication (atypical antipsychotics) should be a first-choice option for people with schizophrenia in England and Wales. However, during the 18 months since this guidance was issued, many patients are still receiving older, conventional (typical) antipsychotics. These older drugs can have debilitating side effects, such as irreversible movement disorders, and are less effective at preventing relapses than some modern medications.
Speaking about the new initiative, Bill Walden-Jones, Chief Executive at Hafal, said, “There is an overwhelming need for improved treatment choice and education for people affected by schizophrenia in Wales.
“A range of treatments are available for individuals with schizophrenia that many are simply unaware of, yet these medications, when administered as part of an overall treatment package, could help people re-build their lives and re-integrate into society.”
Richard Lawson, a 36 year old graduate of Swansea University and a Hafal client and volunteer, knows the importance of getting the right treatment at the right time. He explained:
“When I first became ill in recent years, I approached my GP seeking treatment and medication for what I now know to be schizophrenia. In the initial stages I was not given the proper treatment or medication, leading to a rapid and drastic deterioration of my mental health and resulting in my being sectioned five weeks later.
“1 in 100 is a valuable and welcomed initiative in Wales, because it raises awareness of current treatment options, so people with schizophrenia and other forms of severe mental illness, and their families and carers, can work with their doctor and other mental health professionals to ensure they get the best available treatment programme to meet their individual needs.”
1 in 100 offers people the opportunity to receive an information pack, which provides the following:
- Facts and information about schizophrenia: including causes, and symptoms.
- Comprehensive listing of the range of mental health support groups and their contact details.
- Information on a range of treatment options (both medications and talking treatments).
- A pocket-sized card which lists a number of questions to help individuals have informed discussions with their doctor, encouraging them to take a more pro-active role in their treatment process.
For more information, you can visit the 1 in 100 website at www.oneinonehundred.co.uk or call the 1 in 100 freephone number: 0800 587 1153.
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For further information, or if you would like to interview a campaign spokesperson, please contact:
Public Affairs Manager
Tel: 02920 560 800 or 07977 400 858
Editor, Mental Health Wales
Tel. 01792 816 600
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. 1 in 100 is sponsored by Janssen-Cilag Ltd and Organon.
2. Hafal is the principal organisation in Wales supporting people with severe mental illness and their families. Hafal operates over 60 projects across Wales in all 22 of the local authorities, providing a range of services for people with severe mental illness.
3. Hafal’s mission statement is as follows: “Hafal empowers people with severe mental illness and their families to achieve a better quality of life, to fulfill their ambitions for recovery, to fight discrimination, and to enjoy equal access to health and social care, housing income, and employment.”
4. Services provided by Hafal include employment/training projects, supported accommodation, resource centres, club activities, befriending schemes and advocacy services. Carers support services are also provided. Over 600 people use Hafal’s services every day. In addition Hafal campaigns vigorously through research and publications to remove the stigma and isolation associated with severe mental illness.
5. The Welsh Assembly Government’s 2002 Mental Health Strategy informs and guides Hafal’s policy and operations. Hafal is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, local statutory purchasers, and grant-making trusts.