Mental health patients in Portugal lack support

A MAJOR European study into mental health diseases revealed that there is a lack of support and understanding for patients suffering from schizophrenia in Portugal. In Portugal, victims of this debilitating and distressing illness almost universally depend on their families.

João Marques Teixeira, national co-ordinator for the study and clinical director at a hospital specialising in mental health illnesses in Porto, told Lusa news agency: “It’s very important that we create a support network for these patients, who otherwise rely on charitable organisations or their often elderly relatives.” Those greatest at risk are patients in their 40s and over, who can no longer be cared for by their parents, running the risk of becoming homeless.

Schizophrenia is an illness that affects one in 100 people, causing acute personality changes, loss of contact with reality, delusions, abnormal thought patterns and anti-social behaviour.