'Schizo' - the Movie launched to counter negative stereotypes
Posted Monday 10 August 2009
Both films are launched as an exclusive YouGov poll  reveals that more than a third of the public believe people diagnosed with schizophrenia are likely to be violent. The reality is that people are as likely to be struck by lightning as to be harm by a stranger with a mental illness . Research also shows that support from friends and family helps people with mental illness get better, faster and for longer.  People going through it say that the stigma and shame can be worse than the illness itself. 
Filmed by leading advertising studios Steam Media, with special effects from MPC, which most recently provided effects for the latest Harry Potter movie, "Schizo" plays on the negative stereotypes about people with schizophrenia. The "Schizo movie" opens as a trailer for a thriller/horror movie, borrowing from horror movie imagery, followed by a shot down a dark corridor towards a frosted glass door way, which builds suspense. The door creaks open to reveal Stuart, a man diagnosed with schizophrenia, in a typical domestic scene, who says:
"Hi there, I'm sorry to disappoint you if you were expecting a lunatic with a knife or on some sort of rampage. My name is Stuart and I was diagnosed with schizophrenia 12 years ago. People like me with a diagnosis of mental illness face discrimination every day. Luckily for me, I have the support of friends and family to help me lead a full life."
The second film "Kid's Party" has been seeded into video sites today with the title "Schizophrenic man terrifies kids at party". Instead of seeing youngsters being frightened by a person with schizophrenia, viewers see a normal children's party with Stuart "scaring" the children with a giant spider made out of balloons. As this footage is revealed, Stuart provides a voice over and explains how thanks to support from his friends he's able to live a full life.
The films are launched online following the growth of mainstream movies using online rich media to gain publicity. 
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: "Both films have been designed to attract members of the public who don't realize they are causing stigma and discrimination. Evidence shows that provocative films make a big difference to attitudes and both films will go a long way to reducing the stigma associated with mental health problems."
She continued: "One in four of us will have a mental health problem at some stage of our lives. It can happen to anyone. Stigma and discrimination wrecks lives. Yet everyone can make a change in their attitudes now - you don't need to be an expert to make a difference to friend, family member or colleague who needs your support."
Stuart Baker-Brown, who features in both movies, said: "As someone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and someone who has experienced stigma and discrimination first hand, I relished the chance to get involved with the campaign film as a real opportunity to help change attitudes."
He continued: "Helping to make the film has been part of a journey to take control of my life. Rather than giving up I made a decision to change my life, which was borne out of a 'necessity' to prove not only to myself and to all those around me, that a good level of both 'physical and mental' recovery from schizophrenia is possible.
"I got myself fit and won a Churchill Travel Fellowship to trek on Everest to help inspire and educate others. I'm not a stereotype. I lead a fulfilling life and hope that this film and the example of my life can help others do so too."
The Time to Change campaign is England's biggest and most ambitious programme to end mental health discrimination. The campaign is run by leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink, and backed by £16 million from the Big Lottery Fund  and £4 million from Comic Relief .
For comment, info and case studies:
Call Time to Change press office on 020 7840 3137
For out of office hours call 07940 924555 or 07850 788 514
1. Time to Change is England's most ambitious programme to end the discrimination faced by people with mental health problems, and improve the nation's wellbeing. Mind and Rethink are leading the programme, funded with £16m from the Big Lottery Fund and £4m from Comic Relief, and evaluated by the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, London. For further information go to www.time-to-change.org.uk
2. 34 per cent. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2010 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th - 30th July 2009. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
3. Homicide Inquiries: What sense do they make? Psychiatric Bulletin, Szmukler G, 2000. This refers to people being killed by someone suffering from a mental illness with symptoms of psychosis, such as schizophrenia.
4. Stigma Shout - service user and carer experiences of stigma and discrimination. Time to Change, 2008.
5. Stigma Shout - service user and carer experiences of stigma and discrimination. Time to Change, 2008.
6. Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, The Mirror, The Sun, Daily Mail, plus seeding on video sharing sites.
7. The Big Lottery Fund's support for Time to Change comes from its £165m Well-being programme. The Big Lottery Fund has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006. Full details of the work of the Big Lottery Fund, its programmes and awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888 / Out of hours: 07867 500 572 Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030 / Textphone: 08456 021 659
8. Comic Relief is committed to supporting people living with mental health problems. The projects Comic Relief funds ensure people with mental health problems get their voices heard in the decisions that affect their lives and to get the help they need to recover. Comic Relief also helps people to promote their rights and reduce the stigma and discrimination they face so that they feel more included in society. The £4 million grant to Time to Change is part of Comic Relief's long standing commitment to this issue. For more information go to www.comicrelief.com