"Loony," "nutter," "weirdo," "schizo," "psycho."
These are just some of the discriminatory names people with schizophrenia — a mental illness that affects over 21 million people worldwide — are called on a daily basis.
The filmmakers asked four people who suffer from the disease to tell us their stories. A woman named Alice wears white make-up because she feels invisible. A man named Paul has a black hole painted on his face because others view him as a "scary and uncertain" thing. The overall consensus is that they are treated as less-than-human — neglected by society.
A new study conducted by Rethink Mental Illness found that inadequate care (caused by the stigma that comes with it) is negatively affecting the lives of 9 out of 10 people with schizophrenia.
"Schizophrenia affects 1 in 100 ordinary people like you and I," Mark Winstanley, CEO at Rethink Mental Illness told Mirror. "It’s not a rare illness at all and what’s often misunderstood is that people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and psychosis can lead a normal life if they get the right support."
In fact, after finally getting the support they needed, Alice is now an artist who runs her own business and teaches at two universities, and Paul is a peer support worker.
"But as our survey shows, far too many people are not getting that [support]," explained Winstanley. "And that’s having a very real and devastating impact on the day-to-day things most of us take for granted.
"Work, studying, relationships, a social life, keeping fit and healthy — everyone has a right to live the lives they want to lead, so why are so many with schizophrenia telling us they feel rejected from society, isolated, and having to fight battle after battle to get the right support?"
You can donate to the fund here. Let's make those suffering from schizophrenia visible and get them the help they need.
Screengrab via Rethink Mental Illness/YouTube