Schizophrenia Awareness – Time to End the Stigma

One in one hundred people will experience schizophrenia. Despite being so common the stigma surrounding schizophrenia, as with most areas of mental health, remains high, this is due to a lack of understanding.

Schizophrenia is a very complex condition. It affects how a person thinks, feels and experiences the world around them.

People with a diagnosis of schizophrenia can often experience different symptoms including; audio hallucinations (hearing voices), delusions, disorganized thinking and changes in body language or emotions.

The condition is diagnosed by a psychiatrist who will meet with an individual several times to talk about their mental health, and ask about symptoms, experiences, feelings and thoughts and actions.

There are a number of causes of schizophrenia, usually it a combination of several factors, such as: stress, genetics, brain damage, drugs and alcohol, a difficult childhood, menopause.

For some people schizophrenia is a life long condition that will require day to day management. When looking at recovery from the condition it is looking at regaining a good quality of life rather than ‘being cured’.

The management of schizophrenia differs from person to person but can be a combination of medication, talking therapies such as CBT and a good support network. Approximately one in five people with schizophrenia with recover and go on to live independent lives with no further episodes.

There are risks and complications associated with the condition including physical health issues requiring regular physical health checks, higher risk of suicide due to symptoms of low mood, and problems with alcohol and drug use.

There are many myths that have stigmatized the condition, mainly in the media, these include:

  • “Schizophrenia means someone has a split personality” – The word itself is combination of ‘schizo’ meaning ‘to split’ and phrene meaning ‘the mind’ however schizophrenia does not mean split personality.
  • “If you live with schizophrenia, you can’t work” – Many people who live with schizophrenia do work both full or part time jobs, this is especially true if their condition is stable and they have the right support around them. Work can be a key element in recovery.
  • “People who live with schizophrenia are dangerous” – Those who live with schizophrenia are usually dangerous and are more likely to be harmed by other people than to harm others.

Even though there is a vast amount of information available about the condition it remains strongly stigmatized, as with many mental health conditions. National Schizophrenia Awareness Day, which is today, shines a light on the every day challenges that the millions of people living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia face and how we can tackle the stigma and discrimination around it.

National Schizophrenia Awareness Day (

Moonrise understands that being a carer or a loved one of someone with schizophrenia has its challenges and through our services we can provide much needed respite for those who need it. Get in touch for more information.

Services – Moonrise 24hr Recruitment

Happy Birthday Moonrise!!

Although older due to planning, July 29th 2023 officially marks Moonrise 24hr’s 9th birthday!

Born in 2014 from an idea by Managing Director Jessica Gwaringa the company has grown immensely and shows no signs of stopping any time soon!

With the imminent completion of and relocation to a brand new head office premises, kitted out to our exacting standards the future of Moonrise 24hr is bright.

Happy Birthday Moonrise!!

New Legislation For Care Home Residents

As we know, the pandemic caused major issues for all of us and saw major changes to how we interact as a society with lockdowns, face masks and social distancing. The most vulnerable in our society were amongst those to whom the pandemic caused the most disruption, with those in care homes and hospitals unable to have visitors.

In response to the visiting policies imposed on care home residents family members of those affected launched Right for Residents in September 2020 in order to mobilise others to campaign for those loved ones whose voices could not be heard.

The campaign so far has been hugely successful resulting in the government being forced to limit all restrictions on visiting other than for outbreak management.

Following the death of her mother, West End actress Ruthie Henshall, joined the campaign which is now for new legislation, named Gloria’s Law after Ruthie’s mother, which would guarantee unrestricted in-person care by appointing at least one essential care supporter. This could be a family member or a friend, who would be assigned as a part of the legal requirement in all health and care settings.

Concerns have been raised by some that the new legislation will make the control of transmission of any virus very difficult, however the National Care Forum have sated they believe that infection control can be managed alongside maintaining personal contact with loved ones.

After listening to campaigners the Minister for Care, Helen Whately has said she is determined on changing the law on visiting after listening to campaigners.

For more information, visit: Home – Rights for Residents

What is Wellbeing?

There is no short answer to what wellbeing means, the Oxford Dictionary defines it as:

Wellbeing [noun] – the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy.

However, what one individual feels is their perfect state of wellbeing may be completely different to another individual. Everybody has their own goals, ambitions and personalities, everybody is different.

As well as each individual being different, the different aspects of being comfortable, healthy and happy all have different facets to them that can be interpreted subjectively by an individual. The Oxford Dictionary mentions happiness however wellbeing as a concept is broader than this and has been debated sine the Third Century BC when Aristotle developed the concept of Eudaimonia, which is the contented state of feeling healthy, happy and prosperous. Even though happiness is linked to wellbeing it is multidimensional.

In order to have achieve an overall sense of wellbeing there are a number of key elements that an individual needs to balance. These include:

Physical – including lifestyle choices that can affect the functioning of our bodies. What we eat and how active we are will affect our physical wellbeing.

Emotional or psychological – This is our ability to cope with everyday life and reflect how we think and feel about our ourselves.

Social – This is the extent that we feel a sense of belonging and social inclusion. The way that we communicate with others, our relationships, values, beliefs, lifestyles and traditions are all important factors of social wellbeing.

Spiritual – This is the ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life. It can be achieved through being connected to our inner self, to nature or even to a greater power.

Intellectual – It is important to gain and maintain intellectual wellness as it helps us to expand our knowledge and skills in order to live an enjoyable and successful life.

Economic – Economic wellness in the ability to meet our basic needs and feel a sense of security.

How can you improve overall wellbeing?

There is no set way to improve your overall wellbeing, it is not a quick fix and differs from person to person. However, here are some hints of where to start:

  • Slow down often, and take regular breaks, outside in nature if you can, as often as you can.
  • Separate work and home life and introduce a healthful balance. Develop a rest ethic.
  • Step away from things you are unable to change or influence, and LET THEM GO.
  • Remember that you deserve self-care, you need it, and you need to remember to practice it.
  • Be active, stay hydrated, and avoid foods that do us harm.
  • Keep your thoughts positive and kind, because you are always listening.
  • Make sure you plan something enjoyable for yourself every day even if it is only for ten minutes.
  • Always ask for help when you need it.
  • Focus on small, meaningful goals to work towards. This will slowly but surely reignite your drive and enthusiasm.
  • Count your blessings, there is always something positive to be grateful for, each and every day. You will be happier, more productive, and you will sleep more soundly.

At Moonrise not only do we ensure that our Service Users support needs are met but we also aim to ensure that their wellbeing in all areas is the best that it can be.

This week sees the fifth annual World Wellbeing Week, started in Jersey the annual event highlights the importance of wellbeing in all aspects of life. Follow the hashtag #worldwellbeingweek to see more inspiration and how others are ensuring their wellbeing.

World Continence Week | A Tinkle, Sprinkle or a Flood? Incontinence should be discussed.

This week marks World Continence week, with the support of charities and organisations around the world, this week is run by the World Federation of incontinence and pelvic problems, together they are continuing their commitment to promoting access to care and support. They aim to break the stigma attached to bladder or bowel health issues for individuals and health professionals. With this in mind we wanted to discuss the topic further.

Who does bladder weakness affect?

Bladder weakness affects one in three women and one in ten men, making it more common than hay fever, however the topic still remains taboo and not spoken of openly.

In the UK, around 14 million people suffer with some form of bladder condition, a concern for many individuals who often suffer in silence. The condition can affect men, women, young people and children of all ages.

Breaking the silence is important as a step towards normalising the conditions for millions of people and removing the stigma that living with it is something that should be hidden and not discussed.

It is thought that one in eight of us are living with an overactive bladder, this is around 8.5 million people. 61% of men experience lower urinary tract symptoms, and 34% of women are living with urinary incontinence.

What causes bladder incontinence?

There are a number of causes for urinary incontinence. In men prostate surgery is one of the most common causes. It can also be caused by the urethra being constricted or blocked by the prostate.

In women, pregnancy and the hormonal changes prior to menopause weaken the pelvic floor muscles which can lead to bladder weakness.

Based on the different functional disorders, urinary incontinence is classified into different types, most commonly; stress incontinence, urge incontinence (often referred to as an overactive bladder), and overflow incontinence (chronic urinary retention).

Despite the type of incontinence those affected can only be helped fully if the cause is known. If you are experiencing difficulties with your bladder or bowel health, don’t stay silent, visit your GP who can advise you and help to find the best treatment options for you.

So, whether you leak when you laugh, or are constantly on the loo – don’t be scared, you are not alone!

Check out the Uroligy foundation website for more information on World Continence Week here.

If you need care assistance from Moonrise24, please contact us today to see how we can help to support you, click here to contact us.

What is a Learning Disability?

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities, including household tasks, socialising and managing money, which affect a person for their whole life.

A person with a learning disability often takes longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people.

Learning disabilities occur when the brain is still developing, either before, during or soon after birth and there are several things that can cause a learning disability. Before birth there can be things happen to the central nervous system affecting the brain and spinal cord that can cause a learning disability, a child can be born with a learning disability if the mother has an accident or illness while pregnant or if the unborn baby develops certain genes.

A person can also be born with a learning disability if they do not get enough oxygen during childbirth, has a trauma to the head at birth or is born too early.

After birth, a learning disability can be caused by early childhood illnesses, accidents or seizures.

A learning disability can be diagnosed at any time. This could be at birth, noticing a difference in a child’s development. For many it can take a number of years while others may never receive a diagnosis at all. The process to get a diagnosis can be a difficult and emotional experience but is often the first step in accessing care and support.

With varying levels of learning disabilities there are varying levels of support required, these are dependent on the needs of the individual. For example, an individual with a mild learning disability may require support with areas such as getting a job, compared to someone who has a severe or profound learning disability who may require full time care and support with every aspect of their lives. They may also have physical disabilities.

People with certain specific conditions can have a learning disability too. For with Down’s syndrome and some people with autism have a learning disability as well.

There are a number of different learning disabilities, they can be mild, moderate, severe or profound. For all individuals with a learning disability, it is lifelong.

Mild learning disabilities can be hard to diagnose as the individual can often mix well with others and may be able to cope with most everyday tasks, however they may need support in other areas such as filling out forms.

Those individuals with a severe learning disability or profound multiple learning disability (PMLD) will require more care and support with areas including mobility, personal care and communication. There are those with a moderate learning disability who may also need support in these areas but not definitely.

For parents of people with learning disabilities the greatest concern is their wellbeing and future. As a parent of a child with a learning disability it is important to help them by encouraging their strengths and putting in place the right support to help them overcome the things, they find difficult. Every child is an individual with their own individual needs, but putting in place the right support children with a learning disability can lead fulfilling lives in the way that they choose.

There is often confusion between a learning disability and learning difficulties. Learning difficulties, unlike a learning disability, does not affect intellect and can be conditions including dyslexia or ADHD.

Staff at Moonrise are experienced and trained in supporting those with a Learning Disability – contact us to find out how we can support you.

To find our more about Learning Disabilities and this years Learning Disability Week (19th-25th June) visit: Learning Disability Week | Mencap

Raise a glass to carers, it’s Carers Week

Seeing a friend or family member struggle with a disability, illness or who are older, can inspire many people to step up and care for them.

The COVID pandemic, which was officially confirmed to have now ended by the World Health Organisation earlier this month, had a massive effect on caring in the UK and around the world. It increased the amount of care that was needed by individuals with more people taking on caring responsibilities for friends or relatives who are disabled, ill or older and need support, from dropping off shopping during the lockdown or providing a person with a social outlet so they were not feeling alone.

Most people feel that caring for another person is one of the most important things that they can do, however the challenges involved should not be underestimated with the impact of caring having an effect on all aspects of life including relationships and health to finances and work commitments.

It is important for those who care for others to look after themselves as well and take care of their health and well-being. Many find it hard to meet their own needs and can struggle to eat and sleep well, find time to exercise and manage their mental health. It is common to feel lonely as well as others may not understand how tough it can be to be a carer and take care of yourself.

There is help that is available to those who are caring for others including through Local Councils who can assist carers in finding out about support groups and services in their area and can advise carers of their rights.

This week marks the annual Carers Week campaign which seeks to raise awareness of caring and highlight the challenges that unpaid carers face and recognize the contribution that they make to families and communities across the UK. They are also help other people, who may not think they are carers, to identify as a carer as well as spreading information on how to access support.

Moonrise 24hr wholly support carers week and the recognition that it brings for unpaid carers. We also understand that unpaid carers can also need support, whether it be a few hours a day, several nights a week or full twenty four hour coverage as respite for the carer.

We offer a full range of care services here at Moonrise24 Hour, take a look at our full service offering here:

For more information contact us.

Supporting Young People with Education outside of Mainstream School

At Moonrise 24hr we understand the importance of education in a young person’s life. It is the ability to empower young people to succeed, participate in culture, and be prepared for adult life. Children with disabilities, mental health issues and those in care should not be excluded from this.

Here at Moonrise, through alternative provision, defined as education outside of school, that is not led by school staff, we can equip young people with knowledge and skills that are lifelong.

By working closely with the Local Authorities and Alternative Provision Providers, Moonrise helps the young people that we support to access education across a range of areas that is suited to their personal needs and abilities.

Alternative Provision can be varied, including completing practical courses such as in motor mechanics or hairdressing, right through to work placements in shops and other businesses to experiences in music studios and on farms. By supporting our young people to access the provision we are empowering them to learn new skills.

For one of our young people their Alternative Provision consists of spending time on a farm three afternoons a week where they carry out activities including vehicle maintenance, animal care and woodwork.

By attending regularly, it gives our Young People a routine that they can work through, equipping them with other skills including time management and varied social interactions, that they can utilise as they grow.

It also allows the Young Person to have a focus and work towards something they are proud of, whether it is completing a course or building a bird house!

Other young people have accessed activities such as walking, caving, visits to museums, day trips to other cities such as Edinburgh.

Watching the positive effect that Alternative Provision can have on Young People is one of the most fulfilling parts of our role in supporting Young People as it allows us to see the positive impact it can have on them and their development.

Moonrise offers bespoke, person-centred care to children and young people, for more information check out our Childrens Service page or send us an enquiry to discuss any needs you may have.

Child Care Services for Children with Disabilities | Moonrise 24hr Recruitment

Keep Smiling Brightly! | It’s National Smile Month

Smiling can benefit an individual in many ways. It not only improves your mood and the mindset of others around you it can also improve other aspects of your life. It can boost creativity, problem-solving ability and increase your productivity.

Research has also found that smiling can make you more successful at work, with a happy face considered a sign of confidence, capability, being in control and being more approachable. It can also help others to trust you.

While smiling does have plenty of benefits it can be difficult to share a smile at more challenging times, the key to this is feeling positive when negativity starts to creep in.

For some their smile itself is a reason not to raise a grin.

This month is National Smile Month in association with the Oral Health Foundation who are shining a light on the importance of good oral care and brushing our teeth.

We are all taught as we grow up that brushing your teeth twice a day is the best way as it removes plaques which causes tooth decay and gum disease. However, despite this many people do not consider it to be a priority with one in three people in the UK do not brush twice a day and one in four admit they regularly skip brushing completely.

At Moonrise we understand the importance of oral health and we will be supporting National Smile Month by ensuring that we continue to promote the importance of good oral care to all our service users (we care for a wide range of service users within our children’s care services, supported living services and domiciliary care services).

Throughout all our services we will continue to help our service users to develop healthier habits that can improve their quality of life and give them a smile they can be proud of!

For more information visit the Oral Health Foundation and find out how you can help to put a smile on the faces of others. National Smile Month | Home | Oral Health Foundation (

National Epilepsy Week | What is Epilepsy and how can we support those dealing with the condition?

Epilepsy is a common condition that affects 1 in 100 people in the UK. It is a condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures.

Seizures are bursts of electrical activity within the brain that can temporarily affect how is functions and can cause a wide range of symptoms. It is not always clear why seizures happen and is thought to be partly caused by your genes as around 1 in 3 people with the condition have a family member with it. It can also, occasionally, be caused by damage to the brain a result of such issues as a stroke, brain tumour, sever head injury, abuse of drugs or alcohol, brain infection or a lack of oxygen during birth.

Although it can slowly get better over time it is often a lifelong condition and can start at any age. Usually, the onset of epilepsy starts either in childhood or in people aged over 60 years old.

Seizures can affect people in different ways and is dependent on which part of the brain is involved. Symptoms can include; uncontrollable jerking and shaking known as a “fit”, losing awareness and staring blankly, becoming stiff, experiencing strange sensations, or collapsing. Sometimes some with epilepsy may pass out and are unable to remember what happened.

There are a number of treatments for those with epilepsy including anti-epileptic medications, a special diet to control seizures, surgery to remove the small part of the brain causing the seizures, placement of an electrical device in the body to help control seizures.

Although epilepsy can be a lifelong condition most people with it are able to have normal lives as their seizures are well controlled.

There are a number of seizures that people with epilepsy can experience, they range from simple partial seizures where the person is awake and aware that it is happening to seizures or a series of seizures that occur for a prolonged time from which the person does not regain consciousness.

Having an understanding of epilepsy is the first step in being able to support people with the condition. This week is National Epilepsy Week and seeks to raise awareness of epilepsy with the aim to banish the myths surrounding and giving people an understanding of the condition, who is affected and what can be done to help those with the condition.

At Moonrise we support those charities that are making a difference. We ensure that all of our staff are trained in Epilepsy, including in the numerous treatments that can be used to control the condition. Also, through our person-centered approach and continuity of care of using a dedicated team for each Service User we are able to identify the triggers for seizures for each individual allowing staff to respond quickly and ensure the best support is given.

For more information you can visit: National Epilepsy Week 2023 | The Voice for Epilepsy