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Will you STOP? Because others can’t.

What will you STOP for a week?

In the next 10 years there could be a blood test to accurately diagnose schizophrenia, which will help doctors to detect the illness earlier and possibly determine the most effective treatment.

Help us get there.

People with schizophrenia can’t stop hearing the voices in their head. They can’t stop the feelings of paranoia. They can’t stop feeling flat or unmotivated. They can’t stop the confused thoughts racing around in their mind.

But you can stop drinking coffee for a week, or listening to your iPod or eating dessert or swearing and raise money that will support our researchers because currently there is no cure.

We have a team of around 140 scientists and researchers working hard to find what causes schizophrenia, how we can better treat it and, ultimately, how it can be cured, because far too many people are affected by this chronic illness. Roughly one in 100 young Australians will develop schizophrenia and it will hit them at an age when their lives are really starting to take off – in their late teens to early 20s.

The Schizophrenia Research Institute has had some exciting breakthroughs in the past year, including finding schizophrenia indicators in the bloodstream and links between schizophrenia and the immune system. This is the kind of stuff that makes headlines internationally and it’s all being discovered right here in Australia.

It’s easy to become part of this groundbreaking journey by joining the STOP campaign and telling friends, family and colleagues that you’re going to give something up for a week and would they support you by making a donation.

What will you STOP for a week? Could you do it for a month?

May 13 to 19 is Schizophrenia Awareness Week. To show your support, sign up here and use the Twitter hashtag #STOPforSZ or add this Twibbon to your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Google+ profile.

If you’d like an even bigger challenge, why not join our trek to the Great Wall of China in October? It’ll be like ticking 3 things off your new year’s resolution list! You’ll travel, get fit and raise money for charity. Too easy!

Curious to know what it is like to hear voices all day, every day? Click here.

Read about how schizophrenia has affected Dee Madigan’s life in a piece she wrote for Mamamia in 2011.

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