Making a Difference with Schizophrenia

According to a recent article by Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D., medical editor, mental health for The Huffington Post, and author of The Family Guide to Mental Health Care (Forward by Glenn Close), after an intensive, series of sessions involving 25 scientists, clinicians, researchers, patients, family advocates and government prepresentatives, the following were identified as important answers to the question: “What really makes a difference in the lives of people with schizophrenia?”

  1. Keep the natural environment when possible, keep family closely involved, and work toward a return to school or work.
  2. Measurement-based care with clear goals.
  3. Use technology effectively to reach home-bound and rural patients.
  4. Increase peer services, which are critical in engaging and retaining people with schizophrenia in care.
  5. Combine treatments, using reliable treatments, but permitting innovation; use skill building in social and work areas, cognitive techniques to manage paranoia, effective medications, family education/support, all combined with outreach to help people stay engaged.
  6. Recruit people and grounds that will go byond the call of “champion” and zealously pursue improvement over the status quo
  7. Insist on goals–for patients, families and clinicians.
  8. Maintain hope and a belief in human resilience.

Dr. Sederer is the Medical Director of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), the nation’s largest state mental health system. As New York’s “chief psychiatrist”, he provides medical leadership for a $3.6 billion per year mental health system which annually serves over 700,000 people and includes 24 hospitals, 90 clinics, two research institutes, and community services throughout a state of ~ 19 million people. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia/Mailman School of Public Health. Previously, Dr. Sederer served as the Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene Services in NYC, the City’s “chief psychiatrist”. He also has been Medical Director and Executive Vice President of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, a Harvard teaching hospital, and Director of the Division of Clinical Services for the American Psychiatric Association.

Follow Lloyd I. Sederer, MD on Twitter: @askdrlloyd

His website is


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