June 9, 2008
Arlington, VA—Twice as many Americans live with schizophrenia than with HIV/AIDS, but a major report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reveals most Americans are unfamiliar with the disease.
"Americans are not sure what to think about schizophrenia," said NAMI executive director Mike Fitzpatrick. "They know schizophrenia is a medical illness affecting the brain, but it is largely misunderstood. There are gaps in knowledge— and access to treatment. Misinformation, misperceptions, and misunderstanding represent a public health crisis."
The report is available at www.nami.org/schizophreniasurvey. It is based on an on-line survey conducted by Harris Interactive among the general public, caregivers and individuals living with schizophrenia.
Approximately two million Americans live with schizophrenia. Two-thirds do not receive treatment, even though the disease can be managed successfully.
The survey found the average age at onset was 21, but a nine-year gap exists between symptoms and treatment.
"We know what to do to increase recovery, but it requires public
The report offers five re
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