National Schizophrenia Awareness Day in the UK Date in the current year: July 25, 2024

National Schizophrenia Awareness Day in the UK National Schizophrenia Awareness Day in the United Kingdom is observed annually on July 25. It was created to raise awareness of the challenges that people living with schizophrenia face on a daily basis, as well as to combat the stigma surrounding this common yet severely misunderstood mental illness.

Schizophrenia is a complex mental condition that affects approximately 0.3% to 0.7% people worldwide. Although it is not as widespread as many other mental disorders, it is much more common than you might think. Over 2.5 million people are diagnosed with schizophrenia every year; most of them are in their late teens or twenties.

Although the name of the illness can be literally translated as “split mind”, schizophrenia must not be confused with dissociative identity disorder, colloquially known as split personality disorder. The most common symptoms of schizophrenia are auditory verbal hallucinations (or, to put it simply, hearing voices), persistent delusions, disorganized thinking, paranoia, and changes in emotions or body language.

Despite media portrayals of schizophrenia, which are the source of many misconceptions about the condition, schizophrenia does not make people violent. In fact, people affected by schizophrenia are usually more a danger to themselves rather than others.

The good news about schizophrenia are that its symptoms can be mitigated with medication, therapy and a support system, enabling people affected by the condition to live an independent and happy life. The bad news is that millions of people with schizophrenia around the world do not have access to mental health care services they need and lack support from their families and friends due to the stigma and misconceptions about schizophrenia and mental illness in general.

National Schizophrenia Awareness Day, also known as National Schizophrenia Day, was created to combat these misconceptions. It is actively promoted by Rethink Mental Illness, an English health charity founded in 1972 by John Pringle whose son suffered from schizophrenia. Since then, the organization has expanded its focus beyond schizophrenia to raise awareness of other mental illnesses, but National Schizophrenia Awareness Day remains one of its main campaigns. It is supported by many other health and social care organizations across the UK.

National Schizophrenia Awareness Day is marked by awareness campaigns, fundraisers, and other events and activities that aim to combat the stigma associated with schizophrenia and improve the quality of life of the people affected by schizophrenia, as well as their families, fiends and caretakers. You can participate in the observance by educating yourself about schizophrenia, donating to a charity that provides services to people living with mental illness, and spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #NationalSchizophreniaAwarenessDay.

National Schizophrenia Awareness Day in the UK should not be confused with World Schizophrenia Day, observed annually on May 24. The latter was launched by the US National Schizophrenia Foundation to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Philippe Pinel, a French physician who was instrumental in the development of moral treatment — a humane approach to mental illness.

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National Schizophrenia Awareness Day in the UK, observances in the UK, Rethink Mental Illness, schizophrenia awareness