Growing Up with a Mother with Schizophrenia
February 5, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Anika Francis was first exposed to schizophrenia at the age of three when her mother, Sakeenah Francis, was diagnosed with it. Sakeenah lived in and out of mental hospitals. For the past fifteen years, she’s been recovering after hitting rock bottom and choosing to stay on her medicine for her sake and her family’s. They both discuss their careers and work. Anika talks about her book, “Love's All That Makes Sense”, http://bridgeross.com/francis.html. Sakeenah explains the speeches she makes for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, http://www.nami.org/. They describe their experiences with schizophrenia and discuss the 25 years of challenges they both experienced and the ways they overcame them. They talk about ways to increase help for children growing up with mothers with schizophrenia and for their mothers. They share their messages for children of parents with schizophrenia and for family caregivers for loved ones with schizophrenia and for mothers recovering from schizophrenia.
Family Caregivers Unite!
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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.
Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.
Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.