Drama May Help Treat Schizophrenics

Article excerpt

A drama to help health professionals to diagnose and treat young patients with schizophrenia has been developed in the Midlands.

When Time Collapses is based on the true story of one family torn apart by the condition and will be used as a training tool for GPs, social workers and trainee psychiatrists.

Commissioned by the West Midlands branch of the National Institute for Mental Health in England, the 50-minute play focuses on the first stages of schizophrenia and shows how things can go badly wrong when symptoms are not detected early.

After-show workshops will give audiences the chance to explore alternative professional interventions and literally rewrite the story to produce a more positive outcome.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Fiona Macmillan, of NIMHE's training and support for early intervention services, commissioned the work.

She has been working in psychosis for 25 years, but said she was still profoundly affected by the illness and its interpretation in the drama.

'It is based on research among staff working with young people with psychosis and is an amalgamation of vignettes of people's experiences,' she said.

'Families of young people with psychosis are saying 'it's just like our story except my son is older, or my daughter didn't do that, she did this'. …