The first recipient of the Catherine and Austin Mardon C.M. Schizophrenia Award at the University of Alberta has been announced. Edmonton, AB — The first recipient of the Catherine and Austin Mardon C.M. Schizophrenia Award at the University of Alberta has been announced.
It is a freshman nursing student Tabitha Zuni England. She has been involved previously in the arts scene in Edmonton and has suffered from schizophrenia since 2001. The award sponsors believe this is the world’s first university level permanently endowed financial award for a person with lived experience with schizophrenia or a close family member of a person with schizophrenia. Ms England’s career goals include eventually working overseas with Doctors without Borders or a similar third world health NGO agency.
Ms England commented: “Don’t try to understand this illness. Instead, listen with your heart. We do have the ability to reciprocate your efforts. For many reasons, I embrace the stigma attached to schizophrenia. You can’t sugar coat a waterfall.”
Dr. Mardon is well known for his advocacy on behalf of those living with schizophrenia and other mental illness and in 2007 he received the Order of Canada for that work .He is also a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta.
Dr. Mardon said: “Schizophrenia throws up so many barriers in life- especially in pursuing education. Money should never be one of those barriers. Hopefully this scholarship helps in a small way. We have had many financial barriers to our past education.”
Persons and family members can now apply for the next scholarship, whose deadline is in the fall of 2013.
Donations are still being accepted to expand the number of schizophrenia & mentally ill person scholarships at the University of Alberta.