This year (2014), Supporting Families Auckland would really like to acknowledge the debate around schizophrenia; and with a little help from the Re-Think Campaign and our friends at Mind and Body, the Mental Health Foundation and Changing Minds, we think we can do that.  In short, we would like to invite our members and supporters to come and read new information, new emerging research, and challenge some of the old beliefs still held about schizophrenia.
We find ourselves in exciting times, where there is a lot happening to challenge old myths and beliefs and open up opportunities to think differently about how we view schizophrenia.  More importantly, how we view those who have lived experience of schizophrenia and their families and whānau who support them.  It has became clear as family advocates, SF has a duty to be at the forefront of emerging information, but also to acknowledge how some of it may challenge families current and long-held beliefs and be ready to support them.
“Supporting Families in Mental Illness Auckland (SF) acknowledges the debate regarding the causes and precipitators of schizophrenia and other psychoses.  We continue to actively support on-going research in this area.  We are aware that this issue is causing stress for some families and whānau. 
“We affirm our longstanding commitment to supporting families in meeting the challenges of living with mental illness.  It is our sincere hope that families affected by this issue will approach us for support, and access our range of family-focused services.”  Board, Management and Staff of SF Auckland
Click on the images or follow the links for more information:

Click here to visit the reThink NZ website – Kia Ora, Welcome to reTHiNK.  Changing our attitudes towards mental health.  At Mind and Body we are constantly working to change the way our local community thinks about mental illness / unwellness / distress or just being human.  This year, Mind and Body in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand are honing our thinking to one misunderstood diagnosis – schizophrenia.

Click here to visit the Time to Change website – Our mental health affects the way we think and feel about ourselves and others, and how we deal with life.
Family Focus

Click here to watch Vikram Patel’s TED Talk: ‘Mental Health for all by involving all’ – Nearly 450 million people are affected by mental illness worldwide.  In wealthy nations, just half receive appropriate care, but in developing countries, close to 90 percent go untreated because psychiatrists are in such short supply.  Vikram Patel outlines a highly promising approach — training members of communities to give mental health interventions, empowering ordinary people to care for others.
Click here to visit the Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery website – When a mental health challenge touches a family, each family member can be impacted.  Our peer-to-peer family interviews, documentaries, online forum and information resources are designed to give family members real life guidance, insight and hope from families who have made the journey before you.
Click here to watch ‘Mental: A Family Experience on You Tube – ‘MENTAL – A family experience’.  A short documentary about my brother, Matthew, who suffers from mental illness.  The story follows the struggles that a family can have to deal with and how they get around them.  Written, filmed and directed by Chris Tolmie.
Click here to watch ‘Mental Illness in the Family’ on You Tube – What happens when a family member has a mental illness?  It can be a time of isolation and frustration for many families as they try to help their loved one.  As part of The Agenda’s Mental Health Matters series, we examine mental illness in the family.

Stories told in creative and unique ways through different mediums by people’s own personal experience.
Click on the images or follow the links for more information:
Click here to read the dissertation ‘Caregiver Experiences of Supporting a Person with Schizophrenia’ – “Barbara Pike, a student at AUT dedicated her final year dissertation to examining caregiver experiences of supporting someone with  schizophrenia.  SF was honoured to be able to support this research by connecting people who use SF services with Barbara, via our longstanding research partnership with AUT.  We are looking forward to continuing new and exciting projects together in 2014.  Barbara’s dissertation was warmly received by the Schizophrenia Research Group Conference 2013, and SF are delighted to be able to now share Barbara’s work with a wider audience.”

Click here to visit the ‘People Say I’m Crazy’ website – For 10 years John Cadigan documented his life after being diagnosed with schizophrenia in order to show others what it is like to have a mental illness.
Click here to visit the ‘They Got Better and You Can Too’ website – Inspirational videos of true stories to challenge the dominant narrative of hopelessness in mental health care.  Stories of hope and mental wellness
Click here to listen to the Susie Crooks interview ‘Blessed with Schizophrenia’ – Susie Crooks talking about her experience to Mike King on the ‘Nutters Club’ radio show.
Click here to watch Elyn Sak’s TED Talk ‘A Tale of Mental Illness’ – “Is it okay if I totally trash your office?” It’s a question Elyn Saks once asked her doctor, and it wasn’t a joke. A legal scholar, in 2007 Saks came forward with her own story of schizophrenia, controlled by drugs and therapy but ever-present. In this powerful talk, she asks us to see people with mental illness clearly, honestly and compassionately.
Click here to watch Eleanor Longden’s TED Talk ‘The Voices in My Head’ – Eleanor Longden overcame her diagnosis of schizophrenia to earn a master’s in psychology and demonstrate that the voices in her head were “a sane reaction to insane circumstances.
Click here to read Personal Stories on the Hearing Voice Network website – The Hearing Voices Network believes that voice hearers are experts on the voice hearing experience.  Sharing our stories is one of the ways we can help each other to understand the voice hearing experience better.
Click here to watch personal experiences recorded by SANE Australia on Youtube – A DVD about people who have experienced schizophrenia and their carers talk about the things which have helped them.
Click here to watch the RSA Short ‘The Power of Empathy’ – What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering?  In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.

Click on the links below to access factsheets, web information and resources:
Mental Health Organisation’s Crisis Contact Numbers – In Crisis?  Do you need immediate help?  A list of national contact numbers for crisis support
A Guide to Schizophrenia prepared by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists – Schizophrenia is a mental illness about which there is much stigma and misinformation. This often causes people with schizophrenia and their family additional distress.
Watch ‘Psychosis Is Nothing Like A Badger’ on You Tube – Psychosis is a serious mental health issue than can affect anyone – yet many still view the illness from a stigmatised, stereotyped, and fearful perspective. You Tube video.


Click on the images or follow the links for more information: Articles, blogs and content offering different views of mental illness and schizophrenia.

The Conversation – An article on the complexities of genetics and schizophrenia.
Click here to read Eileen McAtree’s article ‘Conversation About Diagnoses: Help or Hindrance?’ – The recent diagnosis forum facilitated dialogue between people who have received psychiatric diagnoses, scientists, clinicians and lawyers.  The forum was the vision of  Robert Miller.  Robert is a neuroscientist diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Kites Trust supported the organisational aspects  of the forum.
Click here to visit the New Zealand Schizophrenia Research Group website – The New Zealand Schizophrenia Research Group (NZSRG) was formed in 1994.  Its activities have been closely linked with the community organization Schizophrenia Fellowship of New Zealand (now renamed “Supporting Families in Mental Illness [SFNZ, Inc.]).  In recent years NZSRG has moved to become an independent organisation, although still working closely with SFNZ, and with many links with academic and health service institutions involved in research.
Click here to visit the ‘Mad in America’ website – A blog about science, psychiatry and community.
Schizophrenia Bulletin website – Recovery from Schizophrenia:  With views of Psychiatrists, Psychologists and others diagnosed with this disorder.
Click here to read the Medical News Today website article ‘Why rename Schizophrenia?’  Renaming “Schizophrenia” is the subject of discussion in a new Forum in the journal Psychological Medicine.  Two authors propose a new name “Psychosis Susceptibility Syndrome” and experts comment.
Recent research shows that schizophrenia is caused by a neurodevelopmental defect that disrupts early brain formation.  Vitamin D possesses neuroprotective properties, with some research indicating that healthy vitamin D levels may be an essential component for healthy neural development and function.  Due to the presence of vitamin D receptors and the enzyme required to activate vitamin D (1-alpha hydroxylase) in the brain, researchers hypothesize that vitamin D may work locally in the brain to influence proper development.
The research on this topic has only just begun.  Current research indicates that low vitamin D levels during the prenatal period and early childhood are significantly linked to schizophrenia.  One small study found vitamin D status is significantly associated with schizophrenia.  Since the study consisted of such a small sample size, researchers wanted to know if they could replicate these results in a larger sample, further illustrating the potential role of vitamin D in schizophrenia.

Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.

What is Schizophrenia?; Schizophrenia: It’s still pretty much what it used to be; Personal Stories.
Health Promotion in Schizophrenia; Schizophrenia and Social Inclusion; The Role of Government and Civil Society in Person-Centred care for Schizophrenia.
Early Interventions in Schizophrenia; Psychological Interventions in Schizophrenia; Computer-Assisted Therapy for Persecutory Voices Unresponsive to Medication: An Effective Solution; Co-Morbidity and Schizophrenia: Physical Health in People Living with Schizophrenia – the Facts; The Importance of Carers in Living with Schizophrenia; Caregiver Fact Sheet.
Finding Recovery with Schizophrenia; The Importance of Holistic Care for People Living with Schizophrenia.
Living a Healthy Life with Schizophrenia; Living Beyond Schizophrenia – Recovery Is Possible; Call to Action.