Lights along White Rock Pier will have a hue of purple tonight (May 24) to mark World Schizophrenia and Psychosis Awareness Day and help bring attention to the illness.
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that affects one in 100 people in B.C., which is more than 51,000 people and approximately 380,000 Canadians across the country, according to data from the BC Schizophrenia Society.
“It is still highly stigmatized and a lot of misinformation and myths still circulate, making it hard for people to get treatment,” the group said in a news release on Tuesday.
Schizophrenia causes a separation between the person’s thinking and reality. Characteristics of the illness include distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self and behaviour. Some symptoms people experience are hallucinations, meaning they see things that are not there or hear voices and delusions, which are firm, false beliefs. The earlier that it is recognized, the easier the disease is to manage and treat. Typically, signs pointing to schizophrenia begin between the ages of 15 to 24.
Every year on May 24, landmarks throughout the province, including Surrey Civic Plaza will be shining bright in purple in support of the BCSS which is a group that works to educate the public about the mental illness and provides resources to those affected by schizophrenia. To learn more about the illness, visit www.bcss.org