A number of Harbour City high school students will be educated about psychosis this week.
On Thursday and Friday (April 16-17), students at John Barsby Secondary School and Woodlands Secondary School will be educated about the devastating mental condition through an interactive concert organized by ReachOut Psychosis, a program run by the B.C. Schizophrenia Society and HereToHelp.
“We really want to decrease the stigma about not wanting to talk about mental illnesses,” ReachOut Psychosis tour coordinator, Susan Nase, said.
The ReachOut Psychosis event includes a performance by Vancouver band Froghead and a tap dance performance from Nase.
Froghead member Mike Young will also give a speech about how psychosis affected his life.
“We include music and dancing and a lot of demos and interactive stuff with prizes to keep the kids really engaged,” Nase said.“It is a heavy topic … and so we feel that this way the message will get through more effectively.”
Psychosis is a severe mental condition that causes people to become delusional and hallucinate. Patients who suffer from psychosis or a psychotic episode fail to distinguish between reality and fiction. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, psychosis affects roughly three per cent of the population and symptoms typically occur when people are in their teens and early 20s.Those who experience psychosis for more than six months are diagnosed as having schizophrenia.
Nase says the point of ReachOut Psychosis is to raise awareness with teenagers and young adults, who are most at risk of experiencing psychosis.
“It is something you should be just as comfortable talking about as if you had a broken leg,” Nase said.
ReachOut Psychosis began in 2005 and performs to more than 20,000 students provincewide each year.
For more information, please visit www.reachoutpsychosis.com.
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