Celebrating World Mental Health Day

The 23rd World Mental Health Day takes place on October 10, 2014. This year’s theme Living With Schizophrenia emphasizes the continued need for improving the lives of people living with schizophrenia and their caregivers.

If the right care is provided, it is possible for people to live with schizophrenia, enjoy a fulfilling life with their families and contribute to our communities.

Otsuka and Lundbeck stand together and work towards better care for people living with schizophrenia and their caregivers.

The Otsuka-Lundbeck alliance has therefore sponsored the biggest-to-date global survey of caregivers to those living with schizophrenia, carried out by EUFAMI (European Federation of Families With Mental Illness) and analysed by the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Caregivers are essential
Caregivers play an essential role in supporting their loved ones. 55% of people with schizophrenia receive help with everyday life, mainly from their parents1, which can take a tremendous toll on the family.

Approximately three out of four (72%) carers of those living with schizophrenia, are often mainly or solely responsible for providing care, placing a huge emotional and physical burden on them.2 

Family carers perform their care-giver role for an average of 16 years and report an average of 23 hours a week caring for a loved one. This amount of care equates to a part-time job.2

38% feel they are not taken seriously by medical/care staff and 44% do not feel satisfied with their ability to influence important decisions in treatment and care planning.2

One-third of carers are reported to be reaching ‘breaking point’ and feeling they cannot carry on with things the way they are.2

Many caregivers also experience adverse health effects, such as stress and depression.3

What still needs to change
Today, the treatment of schizophrenia is better than where we were years ago. However, continual improvement is needed.

  • We know that intervening early in the course of the disease, easy access to care and continuously taking medication as prescribed are key factors for the quality of life for people living with schizophrenia.
  • We know that active caregiver involvement is an important element in the well-being of people living with schizophrenia. Hence, support to caregivers is crucial for the long-term support of patients.

However, 50% of patients are still not receiving appropriate care,4 only one-half of patients experience caregiver involvement, and 80% of patients relapse within the first five years following a first episode.5

Our partnerships
Since 2011, Otsuka and Lundbeck have established long-term partnerships with patient and caregiver associations in support of improving the daily lives of people living with schizophrenia.

Caregivers must be viewed as important resources and experts, but they need education and support in order to care for their loved ones and themselves.

Together, we must ensure that people living with schizophrenia, and their caregivers, can lead better lives. The industry, policy makers and health care professionals need to work together to ensure that schizophrenia is prioritised and that conditions change for the better.

Participate in the dialogue at #LivingWithSchizophrenia and #WMHD14

The Otsuka and Lundbeck alliance
In November 2011, Otsuka and Lundbeck formed a global alliance, emphasising research and development within the central nervous system area. The alliance is a unique partnership in its scope and intensity and together we are dedicated to addressing the challenges that the world is facing in the treatment of brain disease. 


  1. Adelphi, “Schizophrenia DSP® 2010,” April 2010.
  2. Caring for Carers (C4C) Survey, EUFAMI and LUCAS, University of Leuven. Initial results (x7 countries), October 2014. Questions regarding the survey should be addressed to Secretary General of EUFAMI, Kevin Jones.
  3. Schulze B, et al. Caregiver burden in mental illness: review of measurement, findings and interventions in 2004-2005. Curr Opin Psychiatry 2005;18:684-691.
  4. http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/schizophrenia/en/
  5. Robinson D, et al. (1999) Predictors of Relapse Following Response From a First Episode of Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry
  6. World Health Organization (WHO). Schizophrenia Fact Sheet. 2010. Available at: http://www.who.int/mental_health/ management/schizophrenia/en/. Accessed October 22, 2013
  7. http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/schizophrenia/en/
  8. World Health Organization (WHO). Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope. 2001. Available at: http://www.who.int/whr/2001/ en/whr01_en.pdf. Accessed October 22, 2013
  9. World Fellowship for Schizophrenia And Allied Disorders (2008) Warning Signs of Illness, Crisis, Risk of Suicide
  10. The abandoned illness: a report from the Schizophrenia Commission, London: Rethink Mental Illness The Schizophrenia Commission (2012)
  11. Magliano L, et al. Burden on the families of patients with schizophrenia: results of the BIOMED I study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 1998;33:405-412
  12. Rössler W, et al. Size of burden of schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2005 15:399-409.

Did you know that...?

1 in every 100 people will experience schizophrenia6


Worldwide, 24 million people suffer from schizophrenia7


Schizophrenia is on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list of top-10 causes of years lost due to disability8


It is estimated that 1 in 10 people with a schizophrenia diagnosis commit suicide and about 4 in 10 attempt suicide9


People in the U.K. with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia still die 15 to 20 years earlier than other citizens10


It is estimated that caregivers spend an average of 6 to 9 hours per day providing care11


Together with other psychotic illnesses, schizophrenia is one of the most financially costly illnesses in the world, accounting for 1.5% to 2.5% of total national healthcare budgets12

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