Contest helps tell story of schizophrenia patients

Contest helps tell story of schizophrenia patients

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Contest helps tell story of schizophrenia patients

The winners of the contest (L to R) Okay Uludokumacı, Yasemin Şenyurt and Hasan Emre Keskin pose at the award ceremony held at Pera Palas Hotel.

A writing competition organized to give schizophrenia patients the space to reveal their personalities and individual talent wrapped up yesterday in Istanbul.

“Reality will not be hidden: Voices, Faces and Stories,” which focused on stories by schizophrenia patients, was established to raise awareness about the illness and reduce the levels of alienation patients face in society every day.

“Bold Step” by Yasemin Şenyurt was declared as best story, with Okay Uludokumacı’s “Crazy Sinbad” took second place. Hasan Emre Keskin’s “Purgatory: Something Very Light,” came third.

Attention to disease

The event, which was organized by the Schizophrenia Associations Federation and Bilim Pharmaceuticals, drew attention to the disease, giving equal chances to patients to live how they want and feel socially included. The project, which has been active since 2008, encourages people suffering from schizophrenia to be more active in their daily lives.

Speaking at the press conference, Erhan Baş, managing director of Bilim Pharmaceuticals Company, said: “This is a social responsibility project. More importantly, it is a sustainable one. The project has been continuing for three years now.”

The aim is to draw attention to this disease and draw attention to the danger of the alienation of schizophrenia patients, he said.

Following Baş, World Psychiatry Association President Levent Küey said, “Statistically, one in four people in the world will experience a mental illness.”

Many people will go through a period where their ability to function “normally” is depleted. Despite the prevalence of mental illness within society, “stigma is the most significant issue patients face,” he said. “This is what we need to stand against.”

Stories become book

Doğan Kitap general coordinator Deniz Yüce Başarır explained how the stories written during previous years have been made into a book. “We are happy to be involved with this project and this year the stories have become another book, entitled ‘Aklımın İplerini Saldım’ [The strings of my brain are free],” Başırır said.

Writer Mario Levi spoke and presented the awards. “The people who participated in this contest are the focus of this project; they wanted to shout and make a difference in this life,” he said.

This year a total of 45 stories entered the contest. The winners will have the chance to attend Levi’s writing workshops.

Schizophrenia Association Federation President Haldun Soygür, Baş and Küey also participated in the press conference.