Spring 2009 Walk of Hope

    In Toronto, Heather Ellis, Miss Greater Toronto Area 2009, joins the SSO
    in their opening ceremonies, taking place at Nathan Phillips Square on
    Sunday May 24 at 12:30pm.

    TORONTO, May 19 /CNW/ - In eleven communities across the province
dedicated volunteers and members of the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO)
will be taking to the streets to raise money for research, public awareness,
and support for programs and services throughout Ontario.
    The Walk of Hope has been an annual event for fifteen years, and each
year our numbers are growing. Last year, in Toronto alone, we had several
hundred people attend the festivities at Nathan Phillips Square.
    Donors, volunteers and participants are the true gems of the
Schizophrenia Society of Ontario and it is through their generous support that
last year we were able to raise awareness and breakdown stigma. We were able
to reach out to over 500,000 Ontarians through print ads, television, and
poster campaigns. Over 12,000 families benefited from information, support and
advice given by SSO and we were able to provide over $100,000 in research
    Known as youth's greatest disabler, schizophrenia generally strikes young
people at the prime of their lives, in their late teens or early 20's. When
schizophrenia is left untreated, it can cause delusions, hallucinations, and
emotional withdrawal: at its most extreme, this mental illness can,
tragically, sometimes result in suicide.
    Schizophrenia affects one in every 100 Canadians and has a profound
impact on their lives and the lives of all those who care for them - family,
friends, relatives and others. There are approximately 300,000 people who
suffer from schizophrenia in Canada, of which 120,000 live in Ontario.
    This year, the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario celebrates 30 years of
offering a reason to hope and the means to cope to families and individuals
affected by schizophrenia. SSO provides support, education, and advocacy on
behalf of people and families affected by schizophrenia across Ontario. SSO is
the largest organization representing people affected by schizophrenia in this

For further information:

For further information: Steven Hobé, Manager of Marketing &
Communications, (416) 449-6830 ext. 254, 1-800-449-6367, 130 Spadina Ave.,
Suite No. 302, Toronto, ON, M5V 2L4

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