Reaching out about psychosis

Learning about psychosis and mental illness & how to recognize friends in need were the focus of ReachOut Psychosis assembly at BCSS

ReachOut Psychosis - travelling awareness campaign that educates youth about psychosis and mental illness came to BCSS on Monday morning.


ReachOut Psychosis came to BCSS on Monday morning and to GFSS in the afternoon to raise awareness about psychosis and mental illness. ReachOut Psychosis makes this message meaningful to B.C.’s youth with free school presentations.

By identifying psychosis as a serious, but treatable medical condition of the brain this program works to help youth and their friends and teachers recognize it early and get effective help. If properly diagnosed at early stages, medical treatment has the ability to not just turn young lives around, but to save lives. Teen suicide statistics related to youth mental illness are staggering.

Performances by Vancouver rock band Froghead and tap dancer Susan Nase were interspersed with interactive psychosis information to help educate young people about psychosis. Mike Young from the band spoke personally about how psychosis affected his life.

ReachOut is a dynamic and highly effective performance touring the province since 2005, performing in gyms and auditoriums to more than 20,000 students annually. ReachOut is a program of the BC Schizophrenia Society and HereToHelp.

Some facts about psychosis: three per cent of the population experience psychosis; the first episodes of psychosis usually occur between the ages 16-24; and early diagnosis and medical treatment as soon as possible makes a fast and complete recovery much more likely.

Tour coordinator Susan Nase said it could be challenging for someone suffering psychosis to self-identify.

“One of the reasons we do this show is to help give people the tools to be able to know what the symptoms are so they can then understand what is happening. It can be very confusing for someone who has the symptoms to know what is going on they can be resistant to the treatment if they don’t know what is happening, because it can seem so real to the person that they have difficulty seeing it themselves.”

Hence the message prominently displayed on the ReachOut banners at the assembly: “Psychosis sucks if there is nobody there to catch you.”

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