Back to top

Working with persons with schizophrenia and their families

26 Jul 2018

National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities in partnership with YANA (You are Not Alone)

SCHIZOPHRENIA can be a deeply distressing condition, both for persons with schizophrenia and for their families and other loved-ones.

However, an entity in Pretoria is doing great work with persons with schizophrenia, working with them and their families to understand the condition and develop coping mechanisms to deal with it. More than this, the YANA (You Are Not Alone) facility accommodates 57 persons with schizophrenia and provides psycho-social rehabilitation services for them.

YANA is involved again this year in the In Spite Of production at the Pierneef Theatre in Pretoria where persons who are working to overcome their disabilities take to the stage to perform and entertain an always packed auditorium. It’s a warmly inspiring production that puts on show the courage needed to rise beyond life’s challenges to live your best and most successful life.

Groups besides YANA traditionally participate in In Spite Of. Previously, they have included the Transoranje-school for children with hearing disabilities; Unica School for children with autism; Tiqwa School for children with learning disabilities; Pretoria school for learners with cerebral palsy, the Magalies School and the Stroke Support group.

Items include singing, rap, dance, stand-up comedy, choir performances and motivational speeches.

In Spite Of is made possible by Cordis Trust, and has been since its inception in 2003. The Cordis (Greek for ‘from the heart’) Trust was founded in 2000.

YANA is one of the organisations that will benefit this year from Casual Day, an initiative of the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities. All proceeds of Casual Day stickers sold by the YANA community will be reinvested back into the organisation to enable it to continue its vital work.

At YANA persons with schizophrenia partake in a daily psycho-social programme that helps them grow in confidence and manage their condition. YANA’s is a multi-professional programme that includes therapies and activities such as occupational therapy, sport, social functions and outings, food preparation, music, arts and crafts, and outreach to disadvantaged people and communities.

An important part of the organisation’s task is also to support the family and friends of persons with schizophrenia. The YANA support group meets monthly. Besides being a great support system for its members, the support group works with YANA to address and eradicate the stigma attached to the illness, challenge misconceptions and educate everybody (especially those not affected by Schizophrenia) about the illness.

Story Submitted

For more information on YANA please contact Estelle at 012 330 1797,
For more information on In Spite Of, contact Jopie at the Pierneef Theatre at 012 329 0709,


Please visit the official Government information portal for Coronavirus by clicking HERE