Faced alone, a diagnosis of schizophrenia can overwhelm individuals, their families, and caregivers. Thankfully with the support of mental health professionals, medications, caregivers and SSA programs, recovery is possible!
SSA programs and services are free to anyone living with schizophrenia, their families and caregivers to help them along their journey. SSA's peer support, education, housing, supportive employment, community education, resources and one to one support are critical components to help maintain healthy families and empower clients to live a fulfilling life after diagnosis.
Since we have incorporated online programming, we are pleased to have increased access to more Albertans in rural communities, who are isolated or have mobility issues.
This past year SSA served over 26,329 Albertans. Now that we have the technology to reach more people, we need the funding to help us meet our 2018 goal to support over 34,000 clients across the province.
FACTS 1 in 100 people have schizophrenia.
Over 40,000 Albertans are living with schizophrenia, a treatable brain disorder; this does not include the families and caregivers whose lives are also significantly impacted. In total, approximately 134,000 people in Alberta could benefit from SSA's support programs.
GOAL Raise $120,000 to increase access and support to 34,000 Albertans in 2018.
50 clients attending SSA programs were surveyed to measure the impact on their recovery.
96% Report an improvement in maintaining their mental health
98% Report an improvement in accepting themselves and their illness
100% Report an improvement in their recovery
HOW YOU CAN HELP
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Making an Impact
A Story of Recovery
My Journey from Vietnam to Canada during grade one was an exciting but stressful time for my family. During high school, I decided to change my name from Lai to Tracey, hoping to become more accepted because it was becoming increasingly difficult to make friends. I found myself being tormented by other kids and became very lonely. I always had terrible nerves and started to become anxiety-ridden and depressed.
After I changed my name, I felt out of touch with my real identity, and I began to lose touch with my innermost thoughts. I didn’t know what was real and what I was imagining. I was 22 years old, and during that time I had majored in Microbiology and was accepted into the Dental program at the University of Manitoba.
I began to spiral in and out of consciousness and lost touch with myself. I kept having to look in the mirror and tell myself everything was alright. I felt depressed and lost concentration for my courses. When I came home that Christmas, my mother noticed a difference in my behavior. I was quiet and would go for long spans of time staring at nothing. Soon after that, I began to fail my studies. At the age of 23, I moved back home, while my visual hallucinations continued to become worse.That's when I ended up in the hospital.
For most of my twenties, I felt really bad. I was hallucinating and always fearful to go outside. I kept thinking that people were talking about me. I began going to SSA for support where I learned more about my illness and how to manage my recovery. I learned it takes family support, my doctors, medications, ongoing peer support and programs to help me on my journey. By 27 I was feeling much better and was able to go back to my studies and graduate with a Science Degree.
To maintain my wellness, I now work for SSA as a Phone Peer Support Worker through their Supportive Employment Program. I have been trained to provide support to others who are isolated and learning about their illness. I help them stay positive and show through my own experiences that living a fulfilling life is possible
and not to give up. It's rewarding to be working in a positive and supportive environment, and it makes me feel good when I see those I am helping begin to attend our programs and start planning their future again.
This past September my mom and dad joined me as participants of SSA's Open Minds Walk and Run to show our appreciation of SSA's support. We urge you to support the Annual Campaign so that more people can start their journey of recovery.