Schizophrenia Companion Guide Continuity of Care

Many guides on schizophrenia are already available in many countries and in many languages, a few developed in partnership with patient organizations. An overview prepared for Otsuka and Lundbeck by Havas Just (April 2018), Schizophrenia and Psychosis Care and Treatment Planning Resource, identifies resources in 5 countries. Many of these identified resources offer excellent information on early signs, symptoms and treatments for patients and carers, treatment guidelines for clinicians, and quality standards for services.  

Absent are guides that focus on the broader health consequences of schizophrenia, particularly the potential effects on the physical health of patients. Life expectancy of people with schizophrenia is severely shortened as compared to the general population, by as much as 20 years. The main cause of early death is not the mental disorder, but physical conditions such as cardio-vascular disease, cancers and diabetes. This can be attributed to lifestyle challenges such as high levels of smoking, poor diet, obesity and lack of exercise, interacting with the effects of psycho-tropic medication. Many of these deaths would be preventable by a combination of indicated health promotion and the detection of early symptoms, and the provision of good quality care by the health system, respecting the right to parity of care.


In order to bridge this information gap, GAMIAN-Europe produced the Schizophrenia Companion Guide I as a tool for mental health patients, their families and their carers to understand schizophrenia, its symptoms and treatments. The guide is an essential document that explains the condition in a clear and understandable language.

The 60-page document was developed through the collaboration and arduous work of some GAMIAN-Europe members and professionals in the mental health area.

The Guide was introduced during the ECNP Congress in Vienna in 2016 and was shared during the Schizophrenia Patient Organisation Advisory Board Meeting held on 8-9 of June 2017 in Leuven, Belgium.


Read the Guide here


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