Mental illness group launches 'Soloist' website

Site provides info on schizophrenia issues

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has launched a new Web site,, as part of a social action campaign with Participant Media surrounding Friday's release of "The Soloist," starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.

"The movie will help humanize people who live with schizophrenia and are homeless," NAMI executive director Mike Fitzpatrick said. "It will help people look beyond stereotypes and create better understanding of the challenge for treatment and recovery."

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects about 2 million Americans -- twice the number living with HIV/AIDS.

"The Soloist" is based on the true story of the friendship between Nathaniel Ayers, a street musician living in skid row, and Steve Lopez, a columnist with the Los Angeles Times.

On NAMI's special Web site, visitors can: Watch "The Soloist" trailer; test their schizophrenia knowledge; listen to Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI's medical director, answer questions about schizophrenia, diagnosis and recovery; and learn more about NAMI's education programs.