Family and friends have a very valuable role to play in motivating their relative/friend with schizophrenia to maintain their medication and achieve the benefits of long-term treatment.1,9

Those close to the patient can help develop strategies to ensure that the medication is taken as prescribed and becomes part of their everyday life and routine.1,9 In this way, caregivers can help to make sure that the medications are taken on a regular basis, which is particularly important for long-term benefits.25

Family and friends may also be able to spot early signs that the patient is struggling with anything or is experiencing unpleasant side-effects so they can encourage the individual to inform their doctor. This can be very important, as sometimes people with schizophrenia may be reluctant to consult their doctor. Once the doctor is aware of any such problems, they can work together with the patient to find a solution that improves their situation; this may be by changing the dose of the antipsychotic medication, prescribing drugs to help counteract the side-effects, or just giving practical advice about how to deal with the side-effects.