Schizophrenia Awareness Week: 23 to 29 May 2021


The theme of Schizophrenia Awareness Week (SAW) in 2021 is "Discover Better Mental Health". This year we are highlighting the voice of lived experience to encourage people to connect, reach out and get support. We can all support each other to #DiscoverBetterMentalHealth during #SAW2021.

During #SAW2021 you can:

  • Reach out for support - call 1800 985 944 to speak to a service near you
  • Attend an online event or an event hosted by a MIFA Member organisation
  • Connect on social media
  • Learn about schizophrenia and psychosis by reading the MiNetworks information sheets.

Each year, MIFA raises awareness of schizophrenia through our national SAW media campaigns. Read this year's Media Release here.


Reach out for support

Do you need support? Call a community mental health service near you to get support, information and referral: 1800 985 944.

You can find your nearest service on the MINetworks Find a Service.


Events and Online Events


One Door Mental Health 

From 24 to 28 May, One Door Mental Health will be hosting their Annual Symposium across a range of in-person and online events in their centres across the state.

For many years, the event has been the perfect platform to launch the national Schizophrenia Awareness Week (SAW) Campaign which will run from 23 to 29 May in 2021.

During the week One Door Mental Health will be discussing topics such as system reform, peer-supported Open Dialogue approach, Aboriginal mental health, carers mental health, perinatal psychosis and improving the cardiometabolic health of people living with serious mental disorders in a range of online and in-person events.

Some of the great speakers lined up include:

  • Catherine Lourey, NSW Mental Health Commissioner
  • Rachel Green, CEO at SANE Australia
  • Rachael Bell, Member at Pioneer Clubhouse
  • Dr Anna Sidis, Placement Coordinator and Acting Clinic Manager at the University of Wollongong 
  • Niels Buus, Open Dialogue practitioner and researcher at Relationships Australia
  • Esther Pavel-Wood, CEO at Mostly Mad Music
  • Dr Annemaree Bickerton, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD 
  • Toni Garretty, Clinical Coordinator for the FCMHP at the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD 
  • Julie Borninkhof, CEO at PANDA
  • A/Prof Jackie Curtis, Director of Youth MH SESLHD

We invite you to join One Door Mental Health in person or online as we reduce stigma towards people affected by schizophrenia, encourage inclusive behaviour, bust myths, and promote help-seeking by people affected by schizophrenia, their families and carers.

For more information about the One Door Mental Health Annual Symposium, or to register for an event, visit here.

As part of the Annual Symposium, MIFA is hosting a free webinar about the design and implementation of MIFA's National Information Resources and Lived Experience Leadership Network. Register for a ticket here. Join Donna Didlick and Zoey Ka, MIFA's ILC Project Team, online as they discuss the development of the National Information Resources and an exciting new project that will see the commencement of a National Online Network for People with Lived Experience. The webinar will be held on 27 May 2021 from 11:00am to 12:00pm (AEST).


Mental Illness Fellowship WA (MIFWA) 

MIFWA is hosting an online workshop during Schizophrenia Awareness Week. 

CHIME: A Recovery Model Exploredsold out - 27 May 2021 from 10:00am to 12:30pm (WST).


Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (NT)

Join MIFA (NT) for their SAW Art Exhibition Open Days on 24 and 26 May 2021. MIFA (NT) will be hosting the Art Exhibition Open Days to help support those affected by schizophrenia and their carers through a range of activities, including an art exhibit, an art competition, live music, a sausage sizzle lunch, and interactive games and activities.

When: 24 May 2021 from 9:30am to 1:00pm (ACST)

Where: Raintree Park, Smith Street Mall, Darwin

For more information visit the Facebook event page.


When: 26 May 2021 from 9:30am to 1:00pm (ACST)

Where: 2/273 Bagot Road, Coconut Grove

For more information visit the Facebook event page.


Learn about Schizophrenia and Psychosis

Want to learn more about Schizophrenia and Psychosis? Check out these factsheets:

MINetworks Factsheets

Factsheet: Schizophrenia

Factsheet: Antipsychotic Medication

Factsheet: Suicidal behaviour and self-harm

Factsheet: Families & friends of people affected by mental illnesss

Facsheet: Something is not quite right about the way someone close to you is behaving

Factsheet: Smoking and mental illness

More MINetworks Factsheets are available here.


Psychosis Australia Trust Insights

Psychosis Australia Trust brings together researchers around Australia to drive research in psychosis.

In conjunction with MIFA and psychosis researchers, Psychosis Australia Trust developed research Insights into psychosis:

Insight 1: Mental health of people with psychosis

Psychotic illness has a severe and often lifelong impact of those affected, their families and friends.

Insight 2: Physical health and people with psychosis

People living with psychotic illness die earlier than other Australians.

Insight 3: Services and supports for people with psychosis

Recovery and social inclusion are inhibited by social isolation and loneliness, lack of effective employment support and financial concerns.

Insight 4: Employment and people with psychosis

Many people with psychosis want to work, but are unable to find and retain suitable employment.

Insight 5: Social Isolation and people with psychosis

The isolation of many people with psychosis is a painful added burden to the symptoms, disability, poor physical health and social disadvantage already experienced.

News and Media

For media enquiries, please call Media Key on 03 9769 6488 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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About SAW

Schizophrenia Awareness Week (SAW) was created in 1986 by the then Schizophrenia Council of Australia, now MIFA, and is held in May every year to coincide with the week of World Schizophrenia Awareness Day (24 May). In 2021, it will be held from 23 to 29 May.

People with schizophrenia are among the most highly stigmatised and socially marginalised people in our community. Through this Week, we and our partners aim to reduce stigma towards people affected by schizophrenia, encourage inclusive behaviour, bust myths about schizophrenia, and promote help-seeking by people affected by schizophrenia and their carers.

Every year, MIFA, its members and many partners around Australia promote national awareness raising through videos, social media, quizzes, posters, post-cards, and events around Australia.


Campaign from 2011