World Schizophrenia Day

Next Tuesday(May 24) is World Schizophrenia Day. Schizophrenia is serious mental illness affecting significant percentage of world’s population. National Schizophrenia Foundation has declared May 24 as World Schizophrenia Day. May 24 is to honor Dr. Philippe Pinel, from France, a major figure in the early efforts to provide humane care and treatment for the mentally ill. Appointed chief physician at the men’s insane asylum in Paris in the late 18th century, Dr. Pinel was horrified to see the patients restrained to walls by chains. Although warned against it, Dr. Pinel took a bold and unprecedented move to remove the chains from the patients on May 24, 1793.

The purpose of this day is to spread awareness about this illness, eradicate the myths and superstitions around mental illnesses in general. Schizophrenia is a psychiatric condition where certain chemical fluids levels in certain areas of brain are out of balance, there by causing lack of co-ordination between thoughts, actions and emotions. The sooner it is detected, better are chances of recovering from it. I have been volunteering and support Schizophrenia Awareness Association(SAA) since 2009 in Pune and have written quite a few blogs on this subject.

In Pune, SAA organizes a public meeting every year on this day, to create public awareness about schizophrenia and other types of mental illnesses. The main feature of the public meeting is Late Aditya Pendse Memorial Lecture delivered by a distinguished personality who has contributed significantly in the field of mental health. Late Aditya Pendse in whose memory the lecture is delivered every year on 24th May suffered from schizophrenia till the unfortunate end of his life. His sister Vandana also suffered from schizophrenia and died an unnatural death along with her baby daughter.

This year, on Tuesday, the 24th May, the Late Aditya Pendse Memorial Lecture will be delivered by the distinguished psychiatrist Dr. R Thara, Director Schizophrenia Research Foundation Chennai. The subject of her talk is Mental Illness: Role of Families in Care and Recovery. The public meeting will be chaired by Mr.  Keshav Desiraju, former Health Secretary Government of India. He will speak on State’s Mental Health Initiatives in recent years. This public meeting will be held on Tuesday, the 24th May 2016 at 4.00 PM. The venue for the meeting is Maharashtra Education Society, Bal Shikshan, Mayur Colony, Kothrud, Pune. You are cordially invited to attend the it as above along with your interested friends and family members. SAA has been arranging this event every year since quite a few years now, and various dignitaries such Achyut Godbole, Anil Awachat, Rama Marathe, Vivek Patel have honored the occasion by addressing the gathering in the past.


In the process of treatment for persons with mental illness(PMI), the medicines and treatment as recommended by psychiatrists is important, and also equally important is counselling via self-help support groups(SHSG). They both play important role in recovery and rehabilitation. The family members who are care givers also need lending hand in this journey. This World Schizophrenia Day, let us all become sensitive to this disease and help people to come out of it.

If you are interested in knowing about mental illness and mental health, please feel free to look into other articles on my blog on this topic. Hoping to hear from you on that.


3 thoughts on “World Schizophrenia Day

    • Prashant Kulkarni says:

      I don’t know…I also tried finding it out, but did not get the reason. The same is true for Oct 10-world mental health day. I guess, the available date is picked, as it is in many cases. But there are other observance days where the date has some significance, such as Children’s Day in India is on Nov 14 which is birthday of Pandit Nehru. Thanks for your question though!


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