Mental Health Awareness Month: What to Know About Schizophrenia

This article was sponsored and developed by Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.

Mental health issues impact many families in the country. One in five adults in the U.S. experiences a mental health event every year, and more than half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lives.1,2 In May, Mental Health Awareness Month focuses our attention on those affected by mental health challenges.

Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and to support those living with mental illness. The month is also a time to highlight the need for new treatment options that are critical to lessen the personal, social and economic toll of these disorders.

May 24 is World Schizophrenia Day, when we recognize a mental health condition that impacts 24 million people globally.3 Schizophrenia is a serious and complex disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: positive symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations; negative symptoms such as social withdrawal and an absence of emotions; and cognitive symptoms characterized by difficulties paying attention, processing information and making decisions.4 As one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, schizophrenia often results in significant emotional burden for those who experience symptoms, as well as their family and friends.3,5

One young man recalled that his “friends and family suddenly realized my behavior was off, but I wasn’t fully aware of what was happening.” After he was diagnosed with adult-onset schizophrenia and had begun taking medication, “I started to see for myself that what I was experiencing, the television talking to me or the radio referring to me by name, was not normal. For me, it had become normalized because I had been in psychosis for several months or years, if not longer.” Such situations are not uncommon, with only about 31 percent of people with psychosis receiving specialist mental health care.6

World Schizophrenia Day is dedicated to raising awareness about this serious disorder and the need for new treatments.

Traditional treatment options for schizophrenia include the use of antipsychotic medications that have been associated with metabolic syndrome as well as neurologic symptoms.7 However, approximately 30 percent of patients living with schizophrenia in the U.S. fail to respond to currently available antipsychotic therapies.8 Additionally, at least 40 percent of patients report bothersome side effects with their current antipsychotic medications.9,10

The young man went on to say, “I’m optimistic and hopeful that better treatments for schizophrenia are in the pipeline. My hope is that we have treatments that treat a broader swath of the population more safely and more effectively, and that treat the more difficult-to-alleviate symptoms such as the cognitive or negative symptoms.”

Neurocrine Biosciences is dedicated to developing potentially life-changing treatments for patients with unmet medical needs, including schizophrenia. It has multiple compounds that employ novel mechanisms that are in development targeting various aspects of this disorder. These include compounds currently in Phase 3 and Phase 2 clinical studies.

Neurocrine Biosciences is a leading neuroscience company that is dedicated to supporting people impacted by schizophrenia — on World Schizophrenia Day and every day. The company is investigating potential treatments to address the unmet needs of those living with schizophrenia and other mental health conditions.

Learn more about schizophrenia, including advocacy resources, here.


  1. Mental health by the numbers. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Updated June 2022. Accessed March 3, 2023.
  2. Kessler RC, Angermeyer M, Anthony JC, et al. Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of mental disorders in the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative. World Psychiatry. 2007;6(3):168-176.
  3. Schizophrenia. World Health Organization. Accessed March 3, 2023.
  4. What is Schizophrenia? American Psychiatric Association. Accessed March 3, 2023.
  5. Schizophrenia. National Institute of Mental Health. Accessed March 3, 2023.
  6. Jaeschke K et al. Global estimates of service coverage for severe mental disorders: findings from the WHO Mental Health Atlas 2017 Glob Ment Health (Camb) 2021;8:e27. doi:10.1017/gmh.2021.19
  7. Schizophrenia: Diagnosis & treatment. Mayo Clinic. Accessed March 3, 2023.
  8. Quarantelli M, Palladino O, Prinster A, et al. Patients with poor response to antipsychotics have a more severe pattern of frontal atrophy: a voxel-based morphometry study of treatment resistance in schizophrenia. Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:325052. doi:10.1155/2014/325052
  9. Cascade E, Kalali AH, Mehra S, Meyer JM. Real-world data on atypical antipsychotic medication side effects. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2010;7(7):9-12.
  10. Conley RR, Kelly DL. Management of treatment resistance in schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry. 2001;50(11):898-911. doi:10.1016/S0006-3223(01)01271-9

This article was sponsored and developed by Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.

©2023 Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. All Rights Reserved. CAP-PIP-US-0052 04/2023

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