Authors: Story by Janet Hawley Good Weekend Magazine, John Fairfax Publications
Event: 2000 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NSW
Award level: Winner
Award category: Print
Abstract: “Voices in the Dark” was a feature article published in the Good Weekend magazine on 13 November 1999. In the words of the writer: “I knew the word schizophrenia was constantly and widely misused, including by well educated people. I also knew that I didn’t properly understand schizophrenia myself – and I’m supposedly a reasonably well informed person……... I wanted to adopt a positive approach, and find people suffering with schizophrenia who could talk about their lives in a honest, lucid way. I wanted to show that there were people with schizophrenia who were intelligent, engaging, reflective, brave, wittily humorous, and leading productive lives, so readers could feel they could relate to these people. I avoided putting the main focus on street people, those who aren’t coping well, the cliché victims, because this image needs readjusting. I certainly wanted to address it, and the issue of violence, but decided to do this within the main body of the feature. I felt it was important to show the effect on families and friends, to encourage more understanding of how it is for them. The other essential aspect was to encourage early diagnosis, and spread the positive message about modern treatment methods. I was genuinely impressed with many committed people I met and interviewed who were working in the treatment field, so the mood I wanted to convey was one of hope – and it is worth it to keep trying”. This was an informative, constructive feature which explored schizophrenia. It demystified schizophrenia in an interesting, well-rounded way. Description of Facility/Organisation:
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