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David Baxter

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Teen With Schizophrenia Spreads Word About Mental Illness
by Goura Fotadar
October 29, 2007

John Hill, a 19-year-old teenager from Idaho, is on mission to spread the word and raise awareness about mental illness. Hill suffers from schizophrenia and was diagnosed at 17. His first symptoms were auditory hallucinations and eventually he experienced what he describes as "severe paranoia." Initially, not knowing what to do, Hill kept his symptoms a secret, but eventually broke down and told his mother. Fortunately, she was able to get him the help he needed.

Now he takes medication and attends regular support groups. And although Hill still sometimes suffers from paranoia, he's made it a priority to inform others about mental illness. At 19, "Hill serves as a member on the Youth Suicide Prevention Council and the Idaho State Planning Council for Children?s and Adult Mental Health, both two-year, governor-appointed positions. He is involved with the Idaho Youth Council where he speaks in front of professionals about how disabilities affect young people?s lives. He also sits on the Canyon/Owyhee Children?s Wellness Council, helping families and participating in community service projects." Hill uses his personal story in dealing with schizophrenia to help others. He talks about his symptoms, recovery and goal of having a productive life despite suffering from schizophrenia. He says of mental illness, "it?s not a disability, it?s a roadblock. I just have to drive around it."

Full Story: Idaho-Press Tribune, Homedale teen raises awareness of mental health
 

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