Living with Schizophrenia

Charlene’s experience.

My life is in no way defined by or confined within my diagnosis of schizophrenia. I do have some difficulties at times related to my diagnosis or to the side-effects of medications. But by being empowered and having a strong support system I am able to manage these. I am a functional and productive member of
society. I have purpose in life, and I maintain good relationships with family and friends. As the founder and CEO of the Global Mental Health Peer Network (GMHPN), an international mental health lived experience organization, I contribute meaningfully to society and the economy. I’ve led GMHPN to its successes since inception and this has been the most rewarding experience of my life and one of the key elements that has contributed to my mental health and well-being.

I have the ability to recognize and develop my strengths and learn from my weaknesses. I am self-sufficient and independent. I know when I need
support and where to access it. Most importantly I have mental well-being. I am mentally well. A diagnosis of a mental health condition should never
be a precursor to defining mental well-being.

Charlene Sunkel, South Africa

Source: World Mental health Report: Transforming mental health for all. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

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