More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario, Ottawa Chapter

The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario, was founded in 1979 by Bill Jefferies, a family member, who identified the lack of community support and resources for the family and friends of persons afflicted with schizophrenia. The Ottawa Chapter of the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO), founded in 1985, is one of the most active chapters in this volunteer-run charitable organization. Today, our staff and volunteers provide a specialized support service to people who have a family member with schizophrenia and/or severe mental illnesses.

We are a family-based organization that understands what it?s like to live with schizophrenia. We have gone through similar experiences and come away with a great deal of knowledge and compassion to share with others. Families in crisis call us for information, support and understanding. We do not aspire to be professional service providers but what we do is fill a specific need that is not being met elsewhere. Put simply, we give families hope. We help family members to cope better with the demands of this illness, so that they can provide more support to the person who is ill, learn to recognize the early warning signs of the illness, and help to reduce the repeated hospitalizations that are too often the result of relapses and lack of support. Our mission is to establish schizophrenia as a curable disease; to provide support to those affected by schizophrenia; and to advocate for those affected by schizophrenia. We assist family members and individuals who suffer from the illness through:
  • Support - Provide information and support to family members;
  • Education - Raise public awareness on schizophrenia and issues surrounding it;
  • Partnerships ? Work with allied mental illness groups and professionals;
  • Research ? Support and advocate for research into the cause(s) and a cure;
  • Advocacy - On behalf of our loved ones and families for better treatment, community supports and services.
Here are examples of what we do:
  • Public Information Meetings, 4th Wednesday of each month, September to May, Auditorium, Lady Grey Building Royal Ottawa Hospital, 7:00 ? 9:00 p.m;
  • Support Groups ? All of life?s challenges need not be met on one?s own. Call our office 761-9218 for information on our Support Groups;
  • Self-Help Group ? For people suffering with schizophrenia, mood disorders or other mental illnesses. Our Self-Help Group markedly improves the quality of life of its members by giving them the opportunity so socialize, learn, interact and provide mutual support. The Group meets most Mondays at the Carlington Community & Health services Centre, 900 Merivale Road, 7:00 ? 9:00 p.m.;
  • The Capital Message ? Ottawa Chapter newsletter for the members, published from September to May, which is one of our most important communication and information vehicles ? it also contains coping strategies as well as other information;
  • Walk of Hope for Schizophrenia & Mental Illnesses - Our major fund-raising and public awareness event organized by volunteers;
  • Speakers Bureau ? Volunteers are available to speak to community groups, associations and educational institutions upon request. To arrange for a speaker, please call the SSOC office at 761-9218.
How do we do this?
As we are a volunteer-run organization, we rely totally on volunteers who are mostly family members. Just as the Canadian population is ageing, so too are many members of the Schizophrenia Society, who not only volunteer their time and services, but also deal with the challenges of having a family member with schizophrenia. If you have some time to spare, please call our office at 761-9218 and volunteer a few hours a week or a month. You will find it a very rewarding experience. We receive no funding other than what we raise through our own efforts. Our membership has increased in the past few years and stands at over 300. If you are not a member of the SSOC, please join today.

[pre]Mental Health Crisis Line 613-722-6914
Outside Ottawa 1-866-996-0991
Hours of Operation 24 x 7
First Episode Psychosis Clinic

Schizophrenia Society of Ontario at provides a provincial prospective on Ontario Chapters, activities within the province, links and additional information on schizophrenia

Schizophrenia Society of Canada at The SSC posts every issue of its bulletin on its website. It also provides links on its home page to every provincial and territorial schizophrenia society across Canada, as well as to the World Schizophrenia Society and sister societies in Australia and in Britain.

World Psychiatric Organization at embarked on an International Programme in 1996 to Fight the Stigma and Discrimination because of Schizophrenia. The WPA International Programme is designed to dispel the myths and misunderstandings surrounding schizophrenia. Stigma creates a vicious cycle of alienation and discrimination which can lead to social isolation, inability to work, alcohol or drug abuse, homelessness, or excessive institutionalization, all of which decrease the chance of recovery. The programme will fight the prejudice in all walks of life because it diminishes the quality of life of people with schizophrenia and their families and prevents them from living and working among us.
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