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The Schizophrenia Society of Alberta has been making impactful differences across communities in Alberta for more than 37 years.

Their mission?

“To improve the quality of life for those affected by schizophrenia and psychosis through education, support programs, public policy and research.”

This mission is fulfilled through a variety of different programs and services offered by the society such as community education, supportive employment and housing and much more. These support programs reduce hospital visits, and the society’s housing and support programs cost one quarter of the price of a day in the hospital.

This unique society is the only organization in Alberta that directly supports people with schizophrenia, their families, and their caregivers, and as a not-for-profit, they rely on financial support from the community in order to sustain and grow services for the treatable brain disorder.

The Red Deer Kinsmen are, in turn, proud to help support The Schizophrenia Society of Alberta through the money raised by the Dream Home every year.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with The Provincial Director of Development, Louise  Daviduck about the society, its impact on the Red Deer community, and its relationship with the Red Deer Kinsmen Club:

Tell us a little bit about schizophrenia and the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta.  

1 in 100 people are living with schizophrenia, which is a treatable brain disorder.

Peer support has proven to be a significant benefit to those living with schizophrenia and those around them. Being part of a peer support group provides mentorships, acceptance, hope, and support while one is learning to manage their illness.

Without the peer support that we offer, individuals are at higher risk of relapsing and becoming ill, resulting in ongoing hospital stays. Relapse can affect the individuals, their families, the healthcare system, and community.

Schizophrenia typically develops between the ages of 15 and 25. With the onset of schizophrenia, many of life’s daily activities become a struggle, including keeping work commitments, engaging in social activities, and coping with the symptoms of schizophrenia. Individuals living with schizophrenia are faced with many challenges, including:

  • Loss of friendships, family support, and employment
  • Increased social isolation
  • Difficulty accepting the illness
  • Difficulty coping with symptoms and understanding the steps to recovery
  • And so much more

How has the Red Deer Kinsmen helped the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta?

The Red Deer Kinsman has provided funding for SSA’s Adult Peer Support program in Red Deer, which is a critical component to one’s recovery.

The Red Deer Kinsman has greatly helped SSA maintain the program over the past years. Due to the stigma associated with schizophrenia, it’s challenging to get support from the community.

The Red Deer Kinsmen Club invites SSA to speak to their membership each year which is a wonderful opportunity for people to ask candid questions and get a better understanding of the illness.

What are the results of these programs?

50 clients attending SSA programs were surveyed to measure the impact on their recover:

  • 96% reported an improvement in maintaining their mental health
  • 98% reported an improvement in accepting themselves and their illness
  • 100% reported an improvement in their recovery 50 clients attending SSA programs were surveyed to measure the impact on their recovery

The society is hosting its 6th annual campaign kick-off on November 16, and their goal is to raise $120,000 to help expand their reach and support by December 2018! Learn more here.

Tickets for the 2017 Dream Home are now on sale and can be purchased HERE. Make sure to buy your tickets before October 29 to be entered into our Loyalty Draw! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything about the 2017 Dream Home Lottery.