Sunday, September 21, 2008

SCARF- Schizophrenia Research Foundation

Institution: Schizophrenia Research Foundation
SCARF is the acronym for the Schizophrenia Research Foundation , a non governmental, non profit organization in Chennai, India, which has committed itself to schizophrenia care and research .
Whats the significance of this institute:
Provide medical assistance and emotional support to the mentally ill and psychologically imbalanced people
Creating awareness and education on schizophrenia
Providing support and rehabilitation facilities to the ill and their families
An NGO spreading the message of hope and acceptance in the society
How does this impact society:
SCARF provides a forum to understand schizophrenia
It provides an insight into the mental illness identifying the biological, physical and social causes
Provides an edifice on which the family and friends can help the ill people
Rehabilitation and recovery by providing proper medication and support
Acceptance in the normal society and bringing back recovered people to main stream activity
Our Responsibility:
Do not treat mentally ill people like untouchables in the society. Understand their feelings and provide required medical assistance
Do not sympathise with their situation but support them in the recovery process.
Accept them the way they are. Schizophrenics are not totally disabled people. They live in illusions. So be that illusion itself to the dear ones to make them realise the reality.
Bring in a social structure where medical insurance covers the mentally ill as well, for the cost of medical support to such people is also high
Medication to schizophrenia is a life time process and do not discontinue at any point.
Accept people who are recovered in the mainstream society by providing them job opportunities, scope to learn, live and participate in the community.
After all, they are also human beings looking for love and care. Show them in adequate measure so that they would recover soon.
Me and Schizophrenia:
My quest to understand schizophrenia started way back in 1997, when I first met Dr.Rudran and had a chance to interact closely with his office and people around him. From then, I have done lot of research in this field to understand mental illness,and my association with Banyan in Year 2000 helped me to meet lot of people aiming at same objective. Today, me and my husband counsel families fighting to understand mental imbalances and emotional traumas. Our counselling involves talking to people, making them talk about their feelings, emotions, and frustrations. Lot many time, we happen only to be quite listeners. Many time, after hearing a long conversation, I have found people talking to me saying that they are comforted and got the required solace to calm down and proceed with lives. Lot many friends today look upon me for motivation to pep up their lives and I stand as an ardent listener to their problems. This helps them to overcome lot of frustrations and do not end up as emotionally imbalanced people.
Request to my friends and fellowmen:
Mental illness is getting worse in our country because of the myths, high expectations, unbearable disappointments, improper food habits, and not giving enough time to the essentials of life which includes, family, friends, hobbies, objectives and self -motivating factors. The social strata need to be understanding that how much ever materialistic and routine we get into, we need to still have people to talk, care, share and love and have a very purpose of living. We are social beings and cannot be living alone, and each one of us need to be a helping shoulder to at least one person around us. This will not let anyone around us to be emotionally week and end up with mental illness. As citizens, we have the responsibility to bring in a society which is far from fear, loneliness, confusion, hatred and frustration. This will in one way build a healthy society which in turn paves a way for harmony as a Nation.

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