How can I get help/support for schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder?

You may wish to consult our website’s Schizoaffective Disorder and Schizophrenia pages where you will find information on the disorders, current treatments, ways to support recovery, and links to NAMI Discussion Groups that focus on topics related to the conditions.

 The following, additional resources may be of help:

  • Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance (SARDAA), promotes hope and recovery for individuals living with the disorder through education and in-person support groups and toll-free teleconference call support groups for individuals living with the condition and/or their family members. Through the SARDAA support group locator you can search for in-person support groups.
  • Schizophrenia.com also provides in-depth information, support groups and related resources, and education-related information related to Schizophrenia and related disorders. 
  • You may wish to read the book, Surviving Schizophrenia, 7th Edition, by E. Fuller Torrey, which has become the standard reference/handbook book on the disorder. In clear language, the book describes the nature, causes, symptoms, treatment, and course of schizophrenia.  It also explores living with the disease from both the patient and the family's point of view, and how to advocate on behalf of a loved one living with the disorder.  The book can be purchased through online booksellers.
  • Schizlife provides information on schizophrenia, treatment options, coping mechanisms, etc. The website offers a Schizophrenia Treatment Center finder option to locate treatments centers by state.
  • Hearing Voices Network is a peer-support service for those hearing voices. Website offers an in-person support group locator. 
  • (App) Schizophrenia Health Storylines: (Apple, Android & Web; Free) Developed in partnership with SARDAA, the app makes it easier to record details and specifics about symptoms, medication, moods, and more to help individuals living with schizophrenia and related disorders and their loved ones.
  • (App) UCSF PRIME (Apple and Android; Free) Developed by researchers at U Cal-San Francisco, PRIME provides connection to a social network especially tailored to the needs of people living with SCZ by connecting users to their peers and providing a direct line to mental-health clinicians called “coaches” (specially trained Master’s degree level clinicians) who communicate regularly with users to provide motivation and counseling in moments of need. 

How Can I Get My Loved One to Realize They Need Help?

Often an individual living with a mental health diagnosis – particularly one that involves a serious mental health condition (or one complicated by substance use disorder) – may not actively participate in their own recovery.  This is known as Anosognosia [Ah-no-zog-nosha], a co-occurring disorder that can accompany a serious mental health condition and render the individual unable to recognize that they have a mental health condition and/or that they need to seek help.  This is especially troubling for families and friends who are often responsible for providing care for their loved one.

To learn techniques for communicating with your loved, and to help them agree to partner in their recovery, we would recommend reading I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help!, a book by Dr. Xavier Amador - a psychologist whose experiences with his own family demonstrated how challenging this phenomenon could be.  In his book, Dr. Amador discusses the condition of Anosognosia and outlines strategies for communicating with a loved one to help them work toward recovery.  Portions of the book are accessible to the public on our website here; the book is available in English and Spanish for purchase at online booksellers. 

A broader discussion of the strategies of Dr. Amador’s LEAP method, including videos on how to apply the LEAP method, are available for public access here.

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