Girl with curly hair leaning against a wall.By Elisa, Registered nurse and manager of BensKids Health Centre

Sometimes it’s a small clue that leads to a big discovery.

Jasmine had been through the clinic a few times and seemed to be doing well. Then on one visit we noticed that she had been neglecting her personal grooming, something she had always taken pride in. On her next visit, she was looking even more rough and tired. What was going on?

We started considering the possibility of a mental illness. Jasmine admitted that she had been having trouble sleeping because of 'voices' keeping her awake at night.

Our psychiatric team began a thorough assessment and she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Fortunately, schizophrenia can be treated with medications and ongoing psychiatric care, especially when it is caught early.

By providing personalized care and building a strong relationship with Jasmine, we were able to spot those early signs that a more anonymous drop-in clinic might have missed. Jasmine received the immediate treatment she needed and we saw her improve very quickly.