Schizophrenia in Children: Resources

Photo: Families Grapple With Costs of Childhood Schizophrenia: Months-Long Hospitalizations and Marital Stress Among Challenges Facing Families Whose Kids Suffer From Severe Mental Illness

For almost eight months, "20/20" chronicled the lives of three families with kids that have childhood schizophrenia.

Last spring, 7-year-old Jani Schofield was diagnosed with schizophrenia, in part because of her incessant hallucinations that she says command her to hit and bite people. Nine-year-old Rebecca Stancil was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia after she tried to kill herself to stop the voices inside her head. Brenna Wohlenberg, 14, has not yet been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but she says sinister spirits instruct her to become a serial killer. Her 12-year-old sister Ailish also struggles with hallucinations and violent inclinations.

Click here for more on each family's struggle with childhood schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia in children is extremely rare, occurring in one out of every 30,000 children. One of the key criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia is sustained hallucinations, lasting more than six months. Check out these resources for more information about childhood-onset schizophrenia.

Information, Resources

NIMH: The National Institute of Mental Health has a special section with information on child and adolescent disorders, including more on medications, and information about how to cope with schizophrenia.

To learn more about the National Institute of Mental Health's study on childhood-onset schizophrenia, and to read about what criteria must be met in order to take part in the study, click here.

SAMHSA: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a list of mental health services in your area, among other resources.

NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a grassroots mental health advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

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