A group of international experts has called for a more comprehensive recovery-based approach towards the management and care of people living with schizophrenia, in order that they can be better integrated into their communities.

The group, comprising psychiatrists, researchers, advanced practice nurses, advocacy groups and people living with schizophrenia has published a document, Schizophrenia: Time to Commit to Policy Change, designed to help improve the lives of people living with the condition. 

Their main recommendation is that all those involved in the management and care of people living with schizophrenia – healthcare professionals working in both hospital and the community, social care providers, advocacy groups and their families – should consistently work more closely together to ensure the highest quality care. 

In addition, they recommend that local and national policy makers include all aspects of caring for an individual with schizophrenia as a priority in financing and program development efforts. The group believes that this will enable more people living with schizophrenia to be better integrated and have a higher likelihood of succeeding in the community in which they live and work.

“We conducted a number of in-depth discussions among all those involved in the management of people living with schizophrenia, and it became increasingly evident that there was a lack of provision of integrated care,” said Professor Wolfgang Fleischhacker, from Medical University Innsbruck, Austria, who is chair of the policy group. “As there is sound scientific evidence that such interventions are very effective, the key recommendation of our report is that policy frameworks need to be put in place at both national and local levels to ensure that a more integrated approach is taken.”

The policy document will be presented and debated at the meeting of the European Parliament Interest Group on Mental Health, Well-Being and Brain Disorders on November 5.

Schizophrenia: Time to Commit to Policy Change can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/GKL9nf