Schizophrenia-window-of-hope.com: Development of a psycho-educational internet resource for the South African setting
Psycho-educational programmes for families of persons with schizophrenia have been shown to reduce relapse rates, subsequently reducing the burden on the family as well as health care systems. Although various South African helplines and psycho-educational websites exist, none of these focused specifically on schizophrenia. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) was approached for assistance to enable us to develop a piggy-back schizophrenia service on their already established helpline. A multidisciplinary mental health team compiled a manual for use by SADAG helpline operators, but owing to the huge amount of information it was realised that the resource would be more efficient if both a helpline and an Internet resource could be created. The website (www.schizophrenia-window-of-hope.com) was then developed with the help of an IT professional. This site represents the first attempt to create an Internet-based schizophrenia-specific educational resource for the South African setting. The next step will be to obtain formal feedback from helpline and website users in order to inform the ongoing development of the site.