Rethinking Schizophrenia

Rethinking Schizophrenia is a research-driven project offering tangible policy changes to improve the lives of people living with schizophrenia across Europe. It challenges the status quo and refreshes the European policy debate on people living with schizophrenia and encourages multi-stakeholder-driven policy. The project falls under #BeyondTheVoices campaign.

About schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a complex mental health condition identified as one of the 15 leading causes of disability globally. While an estimated 24 million people live with schizophrenia, approximately 78 individuals out of 1000 will be diagnosed in their lifetime. In Europe, schizophrenia affects 0.31.5% of the population. Despite the low prevalence, schizophrenia has a huge societal burden: often diagnosed between late adolescence and early adulthood, with later onset in women, it impacts every aspect of life, including relationships, education, and employment. Despite the substantial progress in the treatment, people with schizophrenia have a life expectancy 10-20 years below that of the general population. Associated with unemployment and early retirement, psychiatric comorbidities, and premature death, schizophrenia has the highest median societal cost per patient of all mental illnesses.  

Beyond the Voices of Schizophrenia

Despite improvements and innovation in recent years, people living with schizophrenia face variations in access to optimal treatment and care. There is a lot about schizophrenia that is not fully understood and the high-quality care and support needed by people living with this condition is often unavailable. 

There is a clear need to rethink the management of schizophrenia and redesign the care pathways to ensure optimal treatment and care for all people living with schizophrenia in Europe. Based around patient testimonies, the aim of the project is to highlight the need to optimise the way we manage schizophrenia by building a strong, coherent, evidence-based policy narrative which speaks to the current priorities in schizophrenia and draws from the current policy landscape in Europe. 

The Rethinking Schizophrenia project falls under the Rethinking the management of brain disorders series, research-driven projects offering policy recommendations to make tangible changes with the aim to improve the lives of people living with brain disorders, neurological and mental alike, across Europe. 

Experts involved in the project

This project was supported with a grant from Boehringer Ingelheim. The company had no involvement in the research nor in the drafting of the report. All outputs are non-promotional and not specific to any particular treatment or therapy.