Authors: Jenny Pessios
Event: 2000 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, The Schizophrenia Fellowship of SA (SFSA), Non-Government Organisations, Rehabilitation And Recovery
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The Schizophrenia Fellowship of SA (SFSA) is a non government community based organisation that aims to enable people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses and their carers to share fully in the community with the same rights and opportunities as other citizens. The organisation was formed in 1983 by concerned relatives and others in response to the problems of people with schizophrenia and their families. In the years to follow, consumer driven drop in/activity centres were established with the aim to promote well being towards recovery and to assist in the prevention of relapse by providing a place where people with a mental illness can develop friendships, trust, be accepted and links with the community. Many people with a mental illness who live independently in the community are leading quite lonely and isolated lives and have a limited range of leisure interests and few social contacts. The benefits of leisure are often overlooked with more emphasis being placed on highly professionalised approaches to assisting people. In collaboration with consumers of SFSA, the paper will be presented outlining how SFSA Drop-In Centres provide people access to opportunities in the community based on leisure and recreation having a major role to play in enhancing well being and motivation to be able to integrate in the community. People with mental health problems face many barriers in the mental health system and general community, they experiences perhaps the highest level of discrimination in society and therefore the Fellowship aims to facilitate access and integration in the community relating to their individual needs, desires and choices with a focus on recreation and leisure activities reconnecting people with social networks and their local communities.