Richmond Foundation and Hearing Voices Malta are pleased to launch ‘#myreality,’ a national campaign aimed at increasing awareness and education about psychosis. The campaign will be addressing the issue of stigma associated with psychosis and will be running for the next six to twelve months.
#myreality aims to put psychosis at the forefront of public discussion, to help the general public learn more on this condition. Psychosis and psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, remain some of the most stigmatised and misunderstood psychiatric conditions.
Research also shows that the stigma surrounding psychosis often tends to act as a barrier to seeking help by the individual going through this experience in the first place. By starting a dialogue about psychosis, the campaign will be aiming to increase awareness and sensitivity towards the experience of psychosis by challenging the language used which often continues to propagate the stigma.
Topics that will be discussed during the campaign will provide the general public with information about several aspects related to psychosis. These topics will range from what psychosis is, to its causes and treatment, as well as how to support someone diagnosed with psychosis. Equally important, the campaign will also address the myths and misconceptions about psychosis.
Ms. Daniela Calleja Bitar, Richmond Foundation’s Chief Operations Officer, stated that ‘’Psychosis is among the most challenging of mental illness. The people who live with psychosis deserve all the understanding and support they can get. When supported they can lead a positive life, having meaningful relationships and contributing to society”.
Hearing Voices Malta is an NGO that aims to offer and promote self-help support for people who hear voices or have other unusual experiences, commonly described as a symptom of psychosis. Dr. Paulann Grech, Chairperson of Hearing Voices Malta, explained that ‘’The first step is to understand that psychosis is not just a mental illness. It is another reality; a different way of ‘being’. In this way, it then becomes less of a label and more of an issue of how to live life in a satisfactory way – with or without the symptoms.”