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People with schizophrenia who have support often have better life skills than those who are isolated. As a friend or family member of someone with schizophrenia, you provide vital support. As you are one of the people closest to them, it is valuable for you to become involved in their treatment decisions and to be a key point of contact for their healthcare team.

Kevin looks at why carers are a vital part of the care team:

Although at times schizophrenia may cause considerable disruption to your friend’s/relative's life, a combination of medication and coping techniques can control symptoms and enable them to begin the process of getting better and staying well. This may include starting or returning to employment, if the condition is well managed.

It helps to have a strong support network of relatives and friends to help both you and your loved one to cope with the effects of the condition. Talking openly will help raise the awareness of schizophrenia and form the foundation for positive relationships that may help your loved one to feel valued and improve their self-confidence.

Terry explains the subtle changes that made him realise his son was on the road to recovery:

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