Psychatric awareness courses

Relatives of psychiatric patients have
completed a course in understanding their illness


charity, Quality of Life, has conducted a review of the three year awareness
raising programme, that they ran for the relatives of psychiatric patients. The
courses were supported by the Johnson and Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust
and over 1,200 people from Moscow, St Petersburg and Tomsk took part.
Psychiatrists view family support as being massively significant even to the
extent that it might prevent a case from becoming more acute or a relapse
occurring. Once those close to the patient are aware of the characteristics of
their illness and become directly involved in their treatment they can become
capable of helping them cope with the illness and facilitate their recovery.


see many cases where for many years parents have not realised that their child
or close relative is ill. They are ready to put improper behaviour (often
aggressive and emotionally draining) down to the person involved being
difficult, lazy, or poorly brought up’, said Arkady Shmilovich, the  deputy chief doctor at the N Alekseeva
psychiatric hospital and president of the Psychiatrists Association.


courses cover the socialisation of families containing a psychiatrically ill
person. Practically all those leading the seminars experienced participants as
being withdrawn and focusing on their personal problems. Play and narration
therapy helped to draw them into participating in discussions, exchanging
experiences with other participants and engaging socially in a positive way.


participants observed that the psychiatry courses helped them to ease
relationships within the family. The programme organisers are in no doubt that
knowing about the symptoms of an illness, and methods of treatment/care, as
well as being able to cope with stressful situations and find their way around
the relevant legislation, will assist relatives not only to participate more
actively in the process of rehabilitation of their nearest and dearest, but
also to acquire confidence in their own strengths and enhance their own
enjoyment of life.


hope that in the near future, inculcation of psychiatric awareness will be seen
as something indispensable. Reform of psychiatric services in the Russian
Federation will involve transition from a medical model to a psycho-social one,
resulting in many patients leaving hospitals and returning home where friends
and family will become the chief support for the medical specialists. The main
thing is that this help should be well directed’, commented Maria Kulik, the
president of Quality of Life.


Kola (Quality of Life) Tel: 00-7-905-722-12-76


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