Executive Summary:

Even though there are 51 million people in the world with schizophrenia, there is currently no organization focused on specifically helping college students who have schizophrenia. Students With Schizophrenia is a soon to launch nonprofit focused on empowering college students globally who have schizophrenia and their families through services, outreach, and support. By educating and spreading awareness about schizophrenia through outreach and also by providing students and families with services including financial, academic, and career assistance along with legal and mental health support and resource direction, students will have an increased chance to remain in school, get better grades, graduate, and achieve their career goals. Students With Schizophrenia intends to be their for their students every step of the way especially when they need us the most. 

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Problem:

1.1% of the world’s population over the age of eighteen has some sort of form of schizophrenia. That is 51 million people worldwide. But there is a problem because half of the people who have schizophrenia take measures to end their own lives through suicide (25.5 million people). Even more shocking is that one out of ten people who have schizophrenia will die by suicide. That is 5.1 million preventable deaths, and no one is talking about it. You would think that there would already be an organization specifically focused on empowering college students who have schizophrenia, especially since the peak age to have a schizophrenic break is early adulthood which is the same age range as the typical college student, but there is not. There is no organization in the entire world focused on that, and general mental health organizations are not enough because, even in the mental health community, schizophrenia is shied away from because it makes people feel “uncomfortable.” We need to change the face of schizophrenia because the current representation is inaccurate. 1.1% of the world’s population over the age of eighteen is too large of a number to ignore.

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Solution:

Students With Schizophrenia will help empower college students who have schizophrenia through services and outreach. Students and families will be provided: financial, academic, and career services. These services will be offered online to enable a global reach. We want to be there for our students every step of the way. We want to make sure that our students have the financial resources to stay in school, the academic accommodations to excel, and lastly, the career counseling to help connect students with employers and mentors. We will also provide legal and mental health support and resource direction so that we are there for our students when they need us the most. Students With Schizophrenia will also help educate and spread awareness about schizophrenia to the public through founding clubs, partnering with other organizations, and by sponsoring independent events all across the globe. Students With Schizophrenia is the next big step for mental health. This is not only an organization, it is a movement. We hope that our efforts spearhead a global change where less talked about mental health conditions receive the correct representation that they deserve.

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Target Audience:

independent infographicThe National Library of Medicine “estimated the 2002 economic burden of schizophrenia at $62.7 billion: 35% for direct health care costs, 15% for direct non–health care costs, and 50% for indirect costs.” The peak age to have a schizophrenic break is early adulthood which is the same age range as the typical college student and also one of the most pivotal times influencing a person’s academic and professional projection and contribution to society; however, there is no organization currently focused on empowering college students who have schizophrenia by keeping them in school and connecting them with future employers and mentors. The National Education Association reports that “47% of adults living with schizophrenia drop out of college.” This drastically limits the career options of a person who has schizophrenia and their financial contribution to society with unemployment rates varying but seen as high as 20%. Therefore, Students With Schizophrenia will focus on college students and their families as its primary audience.

Innovation:

Students With Schizophrenia is an innovative solution to a currently unaddressed problem with no other direct competition focused on empowering college students who have schizophrenia. The primary challenge is a global reach. 51 million people in the world have schizophrenia, and the stigma towards schizophrenia is increased in developing countries and their need for resources is higher. As a result, Students With Schizophrenia will create a strong online community and offer their services online to expand our global reach. We acknowledge that internet connection reliability varies and is a prevalent issue within the developing world; therefore, we will also offer most of our services through phone access. For those students with an unreliable internet connection, they can register in our program and have scheduled phone conversations with our trained interns and professionals confidentially. Support group calls can also be made where students in remote locations can also interact and speak with other students who have schizophrenia and feel less alone. It is our mission to be accessible and inclusive to all students who have schizophrenia globally.

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TIMELINE:

Students With Schizophrenia has an ambitious mission with an equally ambitious scope to empower students globally. Change does not happen overnight, but it can take place over the course of well thought out and planned years. In the graph below shows a very conservative model of Students With Schizophrenia’s plan to launch its services, outreach, and support over time. “Company Growth” is measured by a list of variables including but not excluded to membership, programs, clubs, partnerships, funding, and staff.

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