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Networking for Non-profits/Schizophrenia Closer Than You Think

Posted May 20 2009 1:20pm
First, I am not good at networking, however, volunteering for the HIV/AIDS non-profit organization is teaching me a lot. For instance, today we spoke with a few tenants within our building and discovered they were friends with a politician who we are trying to get their support from for our upcoming event. While another tenant gave us some really good contacts and was able to donate T-shirts for volunteers. This was a great experience.
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Someone that I am working with has a sister who has schizophrenia. Schizophrenia affects people close to me too, besides family. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that 1 out of 5 American families are affected by mental illness.

I was surprised to learn that someone that I work with has come into contact with the illness that I am trying to overcome, because schizophrenia affects only about one percent of the United States population. (Maybe the illness affects more people than what is being reported)?

I wanted to ask so many questions, but I held my tongue and went with the flow of the conversation. (I did not disclose my diagnosis to anyone at work). Knowing that this co-worker's sister has schizophrenia made me feel more connected with them.

As I have mentioned before, I did not even know what schizophrenia was before my diagnosis. In short, schizophrenia is a mental illness that impairs communication skills, perception of reality, and could make a person hold a conviction that has no evidence such as the FBI is after them, or someone is following them.

Although schizophrenia is a serious mental illness, there is hope. Recovery is possible. There is treatment such as anti-psychotic medications and others. Personally, I am reaping the benefits of such treatments and it is working very well for me. I hope and encourage other individuals living with mental illness to give anti-psychotic medication (under profession care) an opportunity to work wonders for them, as it has for me.

But know this, not every everybody responds to same medication as someone else, there are several types of medication to choose from. In fact, I had to try a few medications before I found one that worked for me.

To learn more about schizophrenia I encourage you to visit the following websites: 1) the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and 2) Schizophrenia Society of Novia Scotia (Canada).
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