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Schizophrenia Society of Ontario Sends a Message of Hope & Recovery

TORONTO, March 21 /CNW/ - The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO) today announced the broadcast of TV Ontario's Person 2 Person with Paula Todd, featuring William (Bill) J. MacPhee, founder of Schizophrenia Digest and spokesperson for the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. This inspirational program brings optimism to the 120,000 people in Ontario living with Schizophrenia.

"Schizophrenia is known as youth's greatest disabler because it usually hits between the ages of 16 and 28," said MacPhee, who was 24 years old at the time of his first psychotic episode or "split from reality". In an interview with Person 2 Person host Paula Todd, MacPhee described the voices in his head pulling him to defy mortality as he stood naked on a highway in January, 1987. He was eventually taken by police to a hospital where he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

With medication to relieve the paranoia and delusions and with the support of family and friends, MacPhee said his suicidal tendencies were eventually replaced by a new purpose in life. Almost seven years after his diagnosis, McPhee launched Schizophrenia Digest, a quarterly magazine that provides much-needed information and inspiration for people whose lives are forever changed by Schizophrenia. In 2004, MacPhee received the Lionel Aldridge Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in recognition of his magazine and advocacy efforts. And in 1996, he received the Community Action Award from the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

As spokesperson for the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario, MacPhee is raising awareness and bringing a message of hope and recovery to communities across Ontario through the Hope & Recovery Campaign. MacPhee has been to Ottawa, Oakville, Kingston, Cornwall and Brockville, and has plans to host forums in other parts of the province. The goal of the campaign is to demonstrate how comprehensive treatment can improve the quality of life of people living with schizophrenia, and reduce the health care costs associated with the disease.

"As someone living with schizophrenia, I know first hand each person is different when it comes to what treatment works best. Early identification and comprehensive treatment are needed to give people with schizophrenia the best chances for recovery and to improve their quality of life through better health, education and employment," said MacPhee.

Schizophrenia affects one in every 100 Canadians, impacting their lives and that of their immediate family. There are approximately 300,000 people who suffer from schizophrenia in Canada.

Founded in 1979, the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario works to improve the quality of life of people affected by schizophrenia. The SSO provides support and practical assistance to families affected by schizophrenia, promotes public awareness about the illness, advocates for affected people and their families, and funds cutting-edge research.

Person 2 Person with Paula Todd will air at 8:30 PM, repeat at
12:00 midnight Tuesday March 22nd, and 3 PM on Wednesday March 23rd.
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