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Pilot program demonstrates measureable benefits for people with schizophrenia
Date:3/6/2012

March 6, 2012 Washington, D.C. People with schizophrenia report improved functioning after participating in a new, evidence-based clinical program, according to results announced today from a six-month pilot. The program, Advancing Standards of Care for People with Schizophrenia, was spearheaded by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (National Council) and administered at 10 community behavioral health organizations across the country. The program significantly improved communication, social interaction and coping skills for persons recovering from schizophrenia.

"Although society's understanding of schizophrenia has progressed over the decades, we can do more to help people with the illness recover," said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council. "This program promotes practitioner and consumer partnerships. Together they measure progress and reinforce what works. It's a true step forward for people with schizophrenia and the organizations that serve them."

The program revolved around two evidence-based tools: a group curriculum to help adults better understand and self-manage their mental health condition; and a functional assessment tool, which tracks a person's ability to independently carry out everyday tasks. The tools encourage participants to take control of their mental illness, discuss it with others, and monitor progress. Participants said they found this helpful in addressing the misconceptions others may have about them.

According to one 49-year-old treated at Hill Country Mental Health in Kerrville, Texas, participating in the program gave her confidence to face her diagnosis and fears."I was frightened, isolated and sometimes in denial about my illness," she said. "After participating in this program, I'm much more confident discussing things openly with my mental health provider and even sharing what
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Contact: Meena Dayak
MeenaD@thenationalcouncil.org
202-684-3728
Chandler Chicco Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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