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Local Action Groups
In India, unlike other countries, most patients with schizophrenia are
cared for in non-institutional settings, and primarily in family environments.
As a result of this, both the ill person and the family experience the
associated stigma. In addition, because of the limited mental health services,
the care for the patient generally comes from the primary care personnel.
The Indian anti-stigma programme will be
carried out in Bangalore, Bombay, Chennai, and Delhi. These cities are
centres of academic mental health work and of non-governmental organisations
that work with persons with schizophrenia. The Indian programme will focus
on sharing knowledge with families and empowering them to take up anti-stigma
initiatives with their local and citywide communities. The primary care
doctors involved will assist in the early recognition of schizophrenia,
its treatment, and in minimising negative prescription side effects. The
doctors will also help reintegrate ill persons to their communities, in
hopes to decrease the stigma and discrimination they face.
Following the designation of Greece as a site, our primary task was to
incorporate the previous actions to the new programme and use the resources
already available as a back-up mechanism for its development. Within this
frame our site proceeded thus far with the following:
The initial phase of interviewing about
200 families at each of these centres is in progress. The results will
be reviewed, and a plan of action will be developed to suit the Indian
conditions and best utilise available community resources.