Bethany Yeiser, President, CURESZ Foundation

“Schizophrenia Survivors” are people who are thriving despite a past diagnosis of schizophrenia, and live lives of meaning and purpose. They want to offer hope to others. Some of our Survivors have offered their contact information, and are available to answer your questions and offer you encouragement. If you have a question for one of the Survivors, contact us here.

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Lauren lives with the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. She is a social worker, and is currently in school to work toward her Masters of Science in Health Policy Research.

Carlos A. Larrauri M.S.N., A.R.N.P., F.N.P.-B.C. serves on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 23 years of age. Mr. Larrauri aspires to interface clinical practice, health policy and research, to reduce health inequities for people living with mental illness.

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Ashley Smith is a non-fiction author, speaker, peer counselor, and mother. She courageously fights the stigma of mental illness with her name attached to her lived experience. She is celebrating a decade in recovery.

Eric Smith is a musician, composer, and a loving family member. He is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio in psychology, and is currently studying for his master’s degree in social work.

Brandon Staglin is director of marketing and communications for Staglin Family Vineyard, and serves as President of the Board of Directors of One Mind.

Michelle Hammer is the founder of Schizophrenic.NYC, a clothing line that fights the stigma surrounding schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

Rebecca Chamaa graduated with a liberal arts degree from Evergreen State College in 1989. Originally from Washington state, she attended an American high school in Cairo, Egypt, where she met her future husband.

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The future looked bright for Bill, already living his dream. Five years later, Bill was living a nightmare, pacing a psychiatric ward, trapped in a world of illusions, delusions, paranoia and depression. Today, he is known as a “schizophrenia recovery expert.”

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Darrell’s life didn’t grind to halt when he was diagnosed. The year after his hospitalization, he went back to college to study computer programming. He finished his degree two years later, and successfully worked as a computer programmer for the next eighteen years.

Max Guttman is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice in Ardsley, New York. Max’s battle with schizophrenia began at Binghamton University in his last semester of college.

Nina Dotson has eight years of experience working in behavioral therapy, and is certified in many different forms of behavioral intervention techniques. She holds a bachelor’s degree from DeSales University.

William suffered a severe paranoid psychotic break at nineteen years of age. Fighting the odds, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and went on to complete his Master’s of Library Science degree from Queens College in 1999.

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Sharon holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs (1999) and a master’s degree in City Planning (2002). Currently, she is employed by the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network. She finds fulfillment in her work helping others.

Ravi Sarin is 48 years old. Despite being diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 16, he has enjoyed 26 years of thriving life. Today, as a member of an ACT team, he helps people with mental illness find the treatment they need to rebuild their lives.

Susan Weiner experienced psychosis during graduate school derailing her career and plunging her world into chaos.  In recovery for over 20 years, she became a writer and has had two books of poetry published and has written articles and even a chapter for a book on mental illness.  You can see her work or contact her at Susanweinerbooks.com.

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Victoria Marie Alonso is married and the mother of three adult children. She developed schizophrenia as an adult. In her memoir, My Personal Recovery from Schizophrenia, she describes the onset of schizophrenia as receiving messages from God which she was unable to ignore.

Laurie views herself not as a psychiatric patient but first and foremost as a researcher who stands on equal footing with everyone else at her stage of the academic career.

Amber was young and successful, but she began a steady decline. At first, she showed symptoms of depression, which would quickly spin out of control, and into psychosis. Today, recovered for over eleven years, she works assisting special needs children.

CURESZ Survivors do not provide legal or medical advice, treatment or diagnosis.  They do not provide therapy or other counseling services.

If you would like more information about Schizophrenia Survivors, please contact Bethany Yeiser, at bethany.yeiser@curesz.org.

Every personal story of recovery from schizophrenia is unique, and a needed contribution.

Disclaimer: Schizophrenia Survivors are not representatives of the CURESZ Foundation. The views of the Schizophrenia Survivors do not reflect the views of the CURESZ Foundation.

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