Schizophrenia Society of Ontario Announces October Awareness Month

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"Schizophrenia is a treatable brain disease". For more information on the campaign visit: http://www.ssoaware.com

Schizophrenia is a treatable brain disease.

"Schizophrenia is a treatable brain disease."

A significant element to the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario's awareness campaign this year is the website: with information on the October Awareness Campaign itself, the Access to Treatment initiative, as well as encouraging people to give to our organization.

Drawing people to the website is our Awareness Poster Campaign - with its simple, yet poignant messaging, the poster informs people that: "Schizophrenia is a treatable brain disease; the problem is…people aren't getting treatment." The poster is being distributed throughout the province, encouraging the public to: "Be a part of the solution", and visit our website to learn more.

As part of the Access to Treatment Campaign, SSO will be hosting Advocacy Training Workshops as well as Community Forums across Ontario. The workshops will give families and consumers the tools to effectively advocate for system change. Attendees will learn how to use their own personal story in an effective way to get their message out to MPPs and other people in positions to implement change.

The Forums - entitled: "Breaking Down Walls: Accessing Treatment, Services and Supports for Mental Illness" - will connect those affected by schizophrenia to look for ways to break down the numerous barriers to accessing the psychiatric treatment, community services, and social supports they need. Through Breaking Down Walls we hope to inspire and empower individuals to advocate for change.

We will also be test marketing a Radio PSA in the London region, as well as on Classical 96.3 fm in Toronto. This will have consistent messaging as the poster, and will pave the way for future campaigns that are larger in scope.

A half hour web-cast radio show entitled, "SSO Aware", will be accessible from the home page of our website. The show has two segments: The first, a discussion with Mary Alberti and Jesse Bigelow about the issue of stigma and discrimination; as well as chatting about ways to volunteer for SSO, and all the great work that our organization does across the province. The second segment is focused on the Access to Treatment Campaign, with a discussion between Vani Jain, Dr Zahinoor Ismail, Michael Alzamora, and Peter Andruski.

SFT Online will be launched at the beginning of October, with all 10 web-cast video shows available for public viewing. Although not directly a part of the October Campaign, it is still a great opportunity to showcase this innovative program. Finally, another audio/visual component is our documentary, Fear|Less, now available on the website to be watched in full, from the home page.

Finally, as our awareness month draws to a close, SSO hosts its Iris Ball Gala - held on Friday October 24th at the Capitol Event Theatre in Toronto. The theme for this year's soiree is the "Superhero Edition", as it pays tribute to some very heroic individuals - the recipients of the Moving Lives Forward Scholarships. These are awarded to those who, despite the challenges of living with schizophrenia, are going back to school to continue their studies, and move closer to their dreams.

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