What the Secret Handshake Accomplished since 2010
|Home Who we are Useful links Support|
We provide a safe and inventive space for people prior to dignosis, during an episode and after when they learn how to live. In this environment people tend to accomplish their goals. That is why you want to help support us.
If you can go through life without ever needing help for various mental health issues, as simple as depression, insomnia, tension brought on by lack of tolerance and patience, then you will never need us. But think of this - donate now and we will save a space for you!
The Secret Handshake is the first Peer Support Network in Canada created by people with schizophrenia for people with schizophrenia, their family, friends and lovers. Our group was formed in 2004 in response to a need.
The Secret Handshake recognizes that peers are uniquely equipped to counsel and support others coping with the illness. Members mentor and share recovery techniques and resources. Most important, we build deep friendships based on mutual trust and respect, breaking the cycle of isolation, stigma and ostracism. Of course, any mental or physical illness requires treatment and support specific to that illness. This is why there is such value in what we do.
The Secret Handshake complements traditional mental health practice. While the right balance of medications is usually a condition of successful recovery, it is not sufficient on its own.
Once symptoms are under control, successful recovery must incorporate all facets of a person's life including the emotional, psychological and social challenges of living with reality.
Usually people do not have the support and skills required to reintegrate into the mainstream because they don't know we are here. They can be very isolated, even in a family setting. Members often flourish when they meet regularly with people who are living with a similar reality. Members have the opportunity to discover the disease is manageable and they can actually live productive lives. Some have gone from being totally isolated for years to being highly functional.
Our simple, practical and effective approach to recovery includes Peer Support, Education/Research and Employment. The group also takes the weight off families who are normally struggling with all the work since they are the main caregivers and even the only caregivers. Many families are generous with their donations as they see their loved one improve.
|Persons with schizophrenia who made an
important contribution to society
The Beach Boys