The National Schizophrenia Fellowship has taken on its first public
affairs director as part of its campaign to challenge misconceptions of
severe mental illness.
Paul Farmer was previously communications manager for The Samaritans,
where he was responsible for devising and implementing the
organisation’s communications strategy, overseeing advertising, PR and
He has been replaced by former Samaritans press officer Emma Borton.
At the NSF Farmer reports to chief executive Bharat Mehta and manages a
communications team of 15.
He sees his two key tasks as challenging the stigma attached to
schizophrenia and raising the profile of the NSF.
The NSF is launching its first advertising campaign on the London
Underground in November in the build-up to a mass lobbying of parliament
on 13 November.
It also celebrates its 25th anniversary with a concert on 2
The NSF campaigns for better services for schizophrenics and their
families and to combat stereotypes of people suffering from
schizophrenia. Its services include an advice line and training for
outside organisations dealing with schizophrenia. Its close co-operation
with BBC soap opera EastEnders has helped to raise awareness of the
issues surrounding mental illness.