Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America improves lives affected by schizophrenia-related brain illnesses (mental illnesses involving psychosis). SARDAA promotes hope and recovery through support programs, education, collaboration and advocacy. Our vision is that every person living with a schizophrenia-related brain disorder receives respect, appropriate treatment and an opportunity to live a meaningful and satisfying life in a compassionate community free of discrimination.
Dad & Musician
Morgan’s son has schizophrenia, which first became apparent after a drug-induced psychotic episode when his son smoked marijuana. Morgan speaks of looking after yourself so you can look after your child – spending time together and not giving up is important, and so is having common interests. Morgan and his son are both foodies and enjoy sports.
Marketing and communications director
Brandon experienced his first psychotic episode right after his freshman year in college. It was a difficult journey. But his treatment and therapy, along with the love of his family, have helped him enormously – and now he is helping others. Happily married, he is also the Director of Marketing and Communications for both the Staglin Family Vineyard and IMHRO/One Mind Institute, as well as a webcast producer, blogger, and public speaker. Brandon is the recipient of many awards, including the SAMHSA Lifetime Achievement VOICE Award.
Singer and songwriter
Jessica experienced drug-induced psychosis in her early twenties and was later diagnosed with paranoia and mania. The treatment she is taking, along with support from her family and her own determination to stay on track, mean she is doing well. She is a musician and songwriter with a following, and is optimistic about her future.
E-commerce company worker
Lance has been on medication for OCD and ADHD since the age of 12. Later, he started experimenting with drugs like marijuana and cocaine and became addicted. It took 6 years for Lance to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. After multiple hospital and rehab stints, Lance is now off illicit drugs and living independently in Great Neck, thanks to the support of his family and doctors. He works part-time for an e-commerce company.
Stand-up comic and writer
Dan started to experience symptoms, including hearing voices at summer camp, when he was in his teens. He kept this secret for a year. But his symptoms worsened and, realizing that something was terribly wrong, his parents took him to a psychiatrist. He was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia. Finding the right treatment and the steadfast support of his family got him back on track. He loves comedy and writing, and performs regularly at comedy venues throughout New York.
Director of education, NAMI
Doris has a family member with schizophrenia. She believes that, at times, the dramatic way police respond to psychiatric crises can negatively escalate the situation. In 2006, Doris was instrumental in developing the Crisis Intervention Training Program for the Texas police. The program involves a much calmer approach, including the responders speaking positively and quietly to the person in crisis instead of responding with force, lights, sirens, and guns.
TV and radio personality
Ismael had a happy but turbulent upbringing in Cuba: two family members committed suicide in his home due to schizophrenia. He has heard voices himself but deals with them by being aware of and proactive about his mental health. It hasn’t gotten in the way of being successful – he has been a radio and TV personality with his own show Cala on CNN en Español, and is a producer, journalist, motivational author, and speaker.
Emmett’s dad, chorister with the Houston Opera
Leslie is Emmett’s dad. He realized Emmett was different as a child – and it was challenging at times. But they’ve come a long way, and he is proud of Emmett and supports him fully in his endeavors and ambitions. As well as being a dad, Leslie is a networking consultant and a chorister with the Houston Grand Opera.
Our vision is that every person living with a schizophrenia-related brain disorder achieves recovery and a fulfilling life in a compassionate community free of stigma and discrimination.