Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rochester group launches website devoted to schizophrenia

An article posted on August 22nd by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:
By Michael Zeigler

A Rochester-area organization that raises money for research and education about schizophrenia is marking its 25th anniversary by taking to the Internet.

CARES (Committee to Aid Research to End Schizophrenia) has launched cares-web.com, a website offering information about the complex mental disorder that can cause depression, delusions and paranoia.

The site includes more than 100 videos by medical professionals about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment; the emotional impact on families; dealing with stigma; and community resources for families and caregivers.

Beginning this fall, the site also will include "CARES Corner," a monthly feature in which viewers can interact with health professionals on specific subjects.

"We'll be able to reach hundreds and thousands more people than we have before," said the organization's president, John Delehanty of Penfield.

CARES was started in 1986 by Barbara Swigert of Penfield after her daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Since then, the organization has held fundraisers and donated $250,000 to assist more than 90 research projects.

CARES had planned this year to end large fundraising events, such as golf tournaments, because its members were aging.

The group still planned to accept donations, however.

But at a luncheon in June, Dr. J. Steven Lamberti, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and health educator Thomas Conant unveiled a proposal to develop a website that would be a resource for people with schizophrenia and their families, Delehanty said.

The organization agreed and the site was up and running by early August.

The website includes a donation function. The organization also will continue its plans to conduct mail-in fundraisers, Delehanty said.

MZEIGLER@DemocratandChronicle.com

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