Homelessness and Schizophrenia


March 6, 2008 :: Austin Mardon
Moderated by Bev Muendel-Atherstone

If Austin Mardon had not strictly adhered to his treatment regime of taking antipsychotic medications he believes that he could very easily have ended up on the street. Between 35 to 75% of our homeless have at least one serious mental illness. Many have schizophrenia or a similar psychotic illness. Over 80% of those with schizophrenia do not take their medication consistently, and thus keep getting ill over and over again. Austin will discuss solutions for reaching those with serious mental illness from his personal experience specifically related to the current crisis of homelessness. He believes there is always hope.

Speaker: Austin Mardon

Austin Mardon was born in Edmonton but raised in Lethbridge until he finished his degree at the University. While an undergraduate geography student, he was accepted as a field scientist on the ASMET NSF/NASA sponsored Antarctic meteorite recovery expedition. His descent into mental illness slowly started after he returned from Antarctica suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was able to complete two additional graduate degrees in the USA before suffering a complete breakdown, and was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia. Since he was first diagnosed, he has adhered to his treatment regime. This has allowed him to work part time for CMHA, serve as an adjunct faculty member and volunteer for numerous charities. He has received both the Governor General�s Caring Canadian Award for his work with Prosper Place Clubhouse and the Order of Canada in 2007 for his ongoing advocacy for the mentally ill, specifically those with schizophrenia.



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