Keeping Jani Alive: The Perils Of Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia are at high risk for suicide, which accounts for about one in five deaths in this population. This impulse includes children, although it is less likely that they will complete suicide because they are under constant supervision. Schofield said Jani has said she wants to die and has attempted to take her own life several times, including an attempt to jump out a window, choking herself with her hands, and saying she will crawl into the oven.

Keeping Jani Alive

As Jani's parents look to the future, Schofield said their focus will be to provide stability and as many good moments as possible.

"While other parents might be fantasizing about their child going to Harvard, we just want to keep her alive," Schofield said. "It's not a done deal she will have adult schizophrenia. But [it becomes] more likely if her symptoms don't go away and there's a good chance this is a lifetime thing... Our hope for the future is that she stays alive and that she has enough moments of happiness as she grows up."

Learn more about Jani Schofield at www.januaryfirst.org.

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