Poor public awareness, growing prejudices and stereotypes lead to the stigmatisation of schizophrenia and social ostracism, and consequently to discrimination and exclusion from professional and social life of people suffering from it. The 'I don't lose myself in schizophrenia' campaign aims to break the taboo around the illness through the stories of those affected. It also aims to support sufferers and start a public discussion about schizophrenia and the needs of those struggling with it.
Mental disorders affect one in five people worldwide. The most severe and prevalent disease is schizophrenia, which already affects more than 50 million people worldwide. Mostly young people are affected. Poor social awareness, growing prejudices and stereotypes lead to the stigmatisation of schizophrenia and social ostracism, and consequently to discrimination and exclusion from professional and social life of people suffering from it.
The campaign 'I don't lose myself in schizophrenia', was initiated by the Institute for Patients' Rights and Health Education and aims to break the taboo around the disease through the stories of people affected by it who are leading normal lives and pursuing their passions. The project includes a range of activities aimed at changing perceptions of the illness and supporting patients and their carers.
The main element of the campaign are films telling the stories of people struggling with schizophrenia, directed by Mirosław Mamczur. The two short documentaries made as part of the campaign are the stories of two people who dared to talk publicly about their illness and the life they lead despite it. The first is world champion in sumo and bronze medallist at the Olympic Games for the Deaf in judo Natalia Brzykcy, the second is poet and community activist Marek Miszczak.
The film will be screened in cinemas in selected cities in Poland and the screenings will be accompanied by educational meetings and workshops for patients and their families.
As part of the campaign, a book of reports and interviews on schizophrenia has also been published, featuring, in addition to the stories of the film's protagonists, reports on other people who have chosen to talk about their lives and their experience of the illness.