Saturday, November 6, 2010

Advocates for the Not Criminally Responsible Schizophrenia Sufferers (ANCRSS)

From the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario website:
ANCRSS (pronounced anchors) is a program under the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario which operates as a Canadian based e-mail support group. Our members have a family member or loved one who suffers from schizophrenia, bipolar or clinical depression. They have come into conflict with the law as a result of their illness and have become involved in the forensic/criminal justice system.

They may be:
  • Detained in custody in a detention center pending court remands.
  • Waiting for court ordered assessments for fitness for trial and/or criminal responsibility.
  • Found guilty or not guilty of summary convictions or indictable offences.
  • Deemed Not Criminally Responsible for their actions on account of a mental disorder (NCR).
This confidential provincial network of friends and supportive relationships is offered through the use of e-mails and telephone calls without having to leave our urban or rural homes. We provide our members an understanding, empathetic ear. We provide information and support, to help them deal with the challenges of difficult life situations and social stigma. The acronym is intended to signify the stability offered by the group to each other and indirectly, to our loved one. Membership is free and offered by invitation in a non-listed private e-mail group for any involved family members who wish to apply.

ANCRSS offers an opportunity for family members to become empowered through education on the issues surrounding mental health and the laws that govern care and provides opportunities to become involved in:
  • Advocacy issues in pertinent medical and legal areas.
  • Breaking down barriers of stigma.
  • Helping others overcome feelings of isolation and powerlessness.
ANCRSS promotes the "human needs perspective" on neurobiological brain disorders.

For more information, support or to join our email group contact

"The anchor is a symbol of a well-grounded hope. As the anchor was often a seaman's last resort in stormy weather, it was frequently connected with hope. Being made of a solid body, the anchor was also identified with firmness, solidity, tranquillity and faithfulness. The anchor remains firm and steady amidst the stormy waters, symbolizing the stable part of a human "storms" of life. Therefore the anchor keeps us steady in the storms of temptation, affliction, and persecution."

This explanation of the symbolism of the anchor fits well for us.

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