My name is Chris and I am 28 years old.
I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at the age of 20.
Since diagnoses I have had a total of 3 admissions to hospital. Although I have had a number of periods of crisis, I have had support from the home treatment teams and floating support which has allowed me to get the treatment I needed without a hospital admission.
I currently get support from attending the services of AMH and NIAMH Beacon Centre. Through attendances at AMH New Horizons, I am planning to complete my NVQ Level 2 in Catering to help me pursue my goal of employment. I have also completed the WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) which has helped in my ongoing recovery.
Due to the nature of my illness, it has taken me a number of years to find a CPN who I feel that I can trust and have a relationship with where I can talk to them openly. This allows me to talk freely about my feelings and the paranoid thoughts that cause me difficulties. I know that when I tell them how my thought process is, I don’t have to recall this on to another medical professional as I know they will pass the information on.
Because my illness is a lifelong enduring illness, I feel that to seek and sustain paid employment more support should be given to employers by medical professionals such as CPN’s. I feel they should be able to come into the workplace to give support. I would like the opportunity to have gradual increase or decrease in hours of employment when periods of illness are good or bad to reduce dependence on benefits.
To help maintain independent living for schizophrenic patients, more sheltered accommodation should be made available where 24/7 support is available.