Rethink in the UK was originally set up 40 years ago as the National Schizophrenia Fellowship. I'm from New Zealand originally and my family back over there think very highly of the tremendous work they continue to undertake supporting people affected by mental health issues. For my family, this has been a close encounter. Sometime ago now, a family member became so overwhelmed, illness very nearly took her life.
But in her own words:
"Its bean a tough journey but my friends and family have given me hope and helped me get through. You can have a mental illness and lead a rewarding life. I am one of the lucky ones who responds to medication and gets better all the time. I feel fortunate."
The main aim of rethink is to raise the quality of life for people affected by severe mental health issues. One of the toughest challenges for anyone suffering from a severe mental illness is not just the illness itself, but social exclusion, even from key issues such as physical health treatment which can become seriously affected by the illness as well. So rethink are currently surveying people who use these services to try to establish if they are getting adequate care.
Personally I am concerned by mental health treatment that places too much emphasis on medication without the resources or (arguably) drive to take a more holistic approach.
Whilst I appreciate medication is critical, it shouldn't be the only treatment. I was really pleased to hear about Rethink's "Personalisation" study which empowers unwell individuals to have more control over their own care. Options can include activities such as classes and sports. Something so simple sounding can be of great benefit...
Have look at their work on their website and if you feel you'd like to help, and donation would be hugely appreciated! You can safely do this on my Just Giving page.