The psychiatric survivors association of Fiji formed back in 2004 is calling on family members of individuals who may have developed outward signs of mental illness to seek professional help.

In a recent conference for disabilities in Nadi, the organisation shared the experience of stigma most are not ready to cope with.

This is not only the individuals who may be suffering from mental illness but also their family members.

In our in-depth story tonight our western reporter Jese Tuisinu speaks to the psychiatric survivors association and finds out from professionals and counsellors, how warning signs and symptoms can be dealt with.

The psychiatric survivors association since it’s inception has focused on recruiting members, developing member skills and creating links with other mental health stakeholders in the country. One of the organisation’s main focus is organising community awareness to promote the knowledge of mental illness.

Mental illness can be physically and emotionally trying, also making those fall victim to the illness feel vulnerable to the opinions and judgements of others.

The disease causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and or behaviour, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines.

Despite the different symptoms and types of mental illness, many families with members who have the disease share similar experiences. Therefore finding help from support groups and health professional is critically important.

Most of the members of the psychiatric survivors organisation have been diagnosed and treated by St. Giles Hospital in Suva.

The psychiatric survivors association is an affiliate of the Fiji Disabled Peoples Association and the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons.


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