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College and Public Relations


August 9, 2017

New scholarship to provide support for Red River College students living with schizophrenia

For immediate release: August 9, 2017

Seventy per cent of people living with schizophrenia wish to pursue post-secondary education and gain employment, but only 30 per cent are in the workforce due to lack of opportunity and stigma. Research suggests that creating pathways to post-secondary education can result in many positive outcomes and bridge that gap.

Beginning this year, Red River College students living with schizophrenia will have the chance to apply for a new scholarship that is available to Manitoba students currently pursuing post-secondary education. This new scholarship will provide some financial relief in the form of $1,000.

Through Red River College’s Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative, RRC is encouraging its students enrolled in programs at any of its nine campuses across the province to apply for this opportunity.

“A large part of the recovery process for a person living with schizophrenia, or any mental illness, is being able to access post-secondary education, said Chris Summerville, executive director of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society (MSS).  “There are barriers that can stand in the way. This can include stigma, financial burden, lack of accommodation and other issues. The importance of post-secondary education is perhaps even greater for students with a mental illness.”

Summerville added that in most jurisdictions, employment rates for people with disabilities, including mental illness, are lower than those of the general population, but research suggests the disparity can be reduced by education.

This new scholarship was developed in partnership with The Otsuka-Lundbeck Alliance and Manitoba Schizophrenia Society (MSS). The Yes 2 Me program is designed to reward those young people who are pursuing their educational goals, confidently building a better self and working towards a bright future.

“Red River College and our Healthy Minds Healthy College Strategy seeks to promote wellness, recovery and resilience while inclusively meeting needs of students, faculty and staff living with mental illness,” said Laureen Janzen, manager of Counselling and Accessibility Services at RRC. “As well, individuals living with schizophrenia, with supports and accommodations offered through our services, have the opportunity to pursue their post-secondary academic and career goals, achieve success and contribute to the community at large.”

MSS and Otsuka-Lundbeck Alliance are also providing two additional $1,000 scholarships to Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) First Nations and Inuit peoples who are pursuing post-secondary education while living with schizophrenia.

“At Lundbeck and Ostuka, we believe that students living with schizophrenia should not have to worry about access to higher education and we hope that the Yes 2 Mescholarship program will allow them to pursue their dreams,” said Maxime Rouleau, Stakeholder Manager, Otsuka Canada Pharmaceutical Inc.

Eligible students are encouraged to apply before August 31, 2017 using this application form.


To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must:
· be a resident of Manitoba
· be diagnosed with schizophrenia
· complete a Scholarship Application package

And be enrolled in:
· High School equivalency programs
· College, trade or vocational programs
· Bachelor or Graduate degrees

Schizophrenia Facts:
· Schizophrenia is a form of psychosis and typically begins between the ages of 15 and 25.
· While the biggest myth, violence is not a symptom of schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia are far more likely to harm themselves than to be violent toward the public.
· Four out of ten people with schizophrenia attempt suicide with 10% dying by suicide due to the losses associated with and the impact of mental illness.
· Schizophrenia is treatable and recovery possible! Many people with schizophrenia can lead rewarding and meaningful lives in their communities.

For More information contact:
Sangeetha Nair
Manitoba Schizophrenia Society