Walk the world for wellness

Join us this Sunday as we participate in the BC Schizophrenia Society’s ‘Walk the World for Wellness’.

Come out and support your community by helping raise awareness and funds for mental illness. People of all ages are invited to meet at the Dolphins at 1:00pm this Sunday for a walk, ride or roll to Kerry Park.

Since May is mental health month, it is a good time to hold events that will encourage a raised awareness about illnesses such as schizophrenia, which affect members of our community and are largely misunderstood.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness affecting roughly one percent of the population. Symptoms typically begin in early adulthood between the ages of 15 and 30 and generally develop gradually as the brain’s ability to process information and communicate with itself deteriorates.

Unfortunately, schizophrenia is a chronic, life-long disorder and often causes significant disability to those who experience it. Some symptoms that are typical in schizophrenia include hallucinations and delusions as well as altered sense of self, lack of motivation, blunted emotions, depression, social withdrawal and confused communication and thinking.

Friends and family may first notice a gradual withdrawal in their loved one, strange behaviour or a neglect of personal hygiene as some of the first signs that something is not right.

Treatment is available in the form of antipsychotic medication. Although medications are fairly effective at controlling the hallucinations and delusions associated with schizophrenia, they do not always alleviate all symptoms such as blunted emotions and they tend to have fairly serious side effects including weight gain, increased cholesterol and raised blood pressure.

For these reasons, research continues to try and find more effective treatments with fewer side effects in hopes that more individuals with schizophrenia can live independent, healthy and enjoyable lives.

At Okanagan Clinical Trials, we currently have an ongoing study in schizophrenia. This study is examining an investigational medication that may not be associated with the side effects of weight gain and metabolic disorder. If you or a loved one are an adult with schizophrenia, contact our office for more information.

We hope to see many of our readers out at the Walk the World for Wellness on Sunday to show solidarity with our community members who experience mental illness. If you have any questions about Sunday’s event or would like to make a donation to support mental health awareness, contact the Kelowna branch of the BC Schizophrenia Society at 868-3119 or email them at bcsskel@shaw.ca. You can also visit their website to learn more about the Society and its activities in the Okanagan. www.bcsskelowna.org.

 

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 Interested in participating? Call us for more information!

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