Health experts raise red flags on lagging schizophrenia treatment

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As the globe marks World Mental Health Day, health experts are raising red flags on a lack of treatment for individuals with schizophrenia.

Episodes of psychosis characterise schizophrenia, with symptoms ranging from hallucinations, delusions and disorganised behaviour to incoherent communication.

The South African Society of Psychiatrists say over 80% of individuals suffering with schizophrenia do not receive the essential mental health care they need.

Head of Psychiatry at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Dr Mvuyiso Talatala, elaborates.

“Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness, it affects 1% of the population but the impact on the patient is severe because of the effects (on) patients. And also, the impact on the health system is severe because if they are not treated, then they are likely to need hospitalisation for a long period of time which is costly to the health system. When we hospitalise them, we have to spend more resources, then we don’t have resources to look after common mental disorders in the communities.”

PODCAST | Concerns raised over lack of treatment available for people with schizophrenia in SA: