The Schizophrenia Commission

Founded nearly 50 years ago by carers of people living with schizophrenia, Rethink Mental Illness has a long-standing focus on improving the care, support and rights of people affected by the condition. 

In 2011, we founded the Schizophrenia Commission, which published a groundbreaking report called Schizophrenia - The Abandoned Illness the following year. It revealed a dysfunctional system that was not delivering the quality of treatment people needed for recovery and included key recommendations to promote change.

In 2017, we released an updated report, which examined progress against 11 key recommendations.

It found evidence of real success in some areas - including the introduction of access and waiting times standards for psychosis, with most people starting treatment within two weeks of referral.

"Attitudes to mental illness have improved, in part thanks to Time to Change our anti stigma campaign, but schizophrenia remains stubbornly misunderstood... we found that 50% of people mistakenly think schizophrenia means you have a ‘split’ personality"

- Brain Dow, Rethink Mental Illness

However, it also flagged that in other areas there is still significant progress to be made. With much more still to be done to improve access to supported housing, public understanding of schizophrenia and the physical health outcomes for people living with schizophrenia – with people living with conditions like Schizophrenia still shockingly dying 20 years earlier than the national average.


Download the reports