Living With Schizophrenia: San Diego Mental Health Advocates, Experts to Address Challenges, Unmet Needs

November 17, 2010

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — It’s estimated that about 275,000 people in California, including 9,500 people in San Diego, are diagnosed with schizophrenia, a chronic and often disabling brain disorder. Living with schizophrenia is the topic of an upcoming public forum, including perspectives of people with schizophrenia, caregivers, experts and advocates. The event will take place on Saturday, December 4, 2010, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel San Diego/Mission Valley, 7450 Hazard Center. Funding for this event is provided by Janssen®, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. This program was developed by Janssen® in collaboration with Mental Health America of San Diego County.

“As a chronic, severe and potentially disabling psychiatric illness, schizophrenia can have a profound impact on individuals and their families, as well as on communities,” said Tom Behr, Executive Director, Mental Health America of San Diego County. “This public forum will explore the challenges faced by people with schizophrenia, discuss local resources and provide personal insights into the recovery process.”

Diagnosis, relapse, local advocacy, family support and crisis intervention are among the topics that will be highlighted during the forum. Personal stories and expert perspectives will be shared by the panelists, who include:

  • Bill Gore, San Diego County Sheriff
  • Jennifer Schaffer, Ph.D., San Diego County Behavioral Health Division Director
  • Raphael Morris, M.D., PsyCare Associates, Inc.
  • Gloria Harris, Ph.D., mother of two sons with schizophrenia
  • Bill MacPhee, person with schizophrenia, national patient advocate, CEO and founder of SZ Magazine. Bill is a paid consultant by Janssen® for his participation in this program.

Registration and information regarding the event are available at http://www.sdroundtable.eventbrite.com or by calling toll free 866-506-8213. Registration and parking are free, and a light lunch will be provided for attendees. Translators in Spanish, Tagalog and Swahili will also be available during the question and answer portion of the event. Those unable to attend can view the discussion via a live webcast at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 4 by visiting http://www.mhasd.org.

About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder that affects about one percent of the U.S. adult population. While the cause is unknown, studies have suggested that there are differences in the brains of patients with schizophrenia. Researchers have identified various risk factors for schizophrenia, including heredity, brain damage and environmental factors such as social stress, isolation and drug use. The disease typically manifests as abnormal psychological functioning and disturbed behavior. There are currently no physical or lab tests that diagnose the disease; therefore, schizophrenia is diagnosed by the presence of symptom types.

About Mental Health America of San Diego County

Mental Health America (MHA) of San Diego County was founded in 1942 as the first mental health advocacy organization in San Diego County. MHA brings together clients, families, professionals, providers, community leaders and the public to collaborate, cooperate and ensure available, affordable care to all citizens. Over the years, MHA has offered numerous programs and services focused on the following four areas: Advocacy, Education, Services and Research.

About Janssen®

Janssen®, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc, is based in Titusville, N.J., and is the only large pharmaceutical company in the U.S. dedicated solely to mental health. It currently markets prescription medications for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. For more information about Janssen®, visit http://www.janssen.com.

    Media contacts:

    Tom Behr
    Executive Director, Mental Health America of San Diego County
    619-543-0412 x109

    Jaimee Lumm

SOURCE Mental Health America of San Diego County

Source: newswire

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