Stigmatisation of Mental health in Africa
September 1, 2010 5:06am CST
Having experienced the negativity belief of my people towards the people with Mental illness, having worked in a rehabilitation organisation with Mental Health clients, I think I should share this write-up. Negative views such as those implying that people with Mental illnesses are irresponsible and therefore incapable of making their own decisions, or are dangerous,or are feared,are widespread. Since negative beliefs often leads to descrimination, there is little wonder that studies have also shown that people with Mental Health problems living in the community experience rampant harassment(Kelly & Mckenna,1997;Berzins et al,2003) In the Yoruba setting of Nigeria West Africa,people with Mental Health illnesses are even called names in psychosis (Were,Iwin,Ayiri) and mental retardation (ode or Odoyo). The commonly endorsed cause of Mental illness. Confirming a stronger belief that it could be due to possesstion by evil spirits. Some even would say it runs in the family, meaning its hereditary. Only about one in hundreds believed thast biological factors could be the cause of mental illnesses. Peeople with mental health cases are were believed to be mentally retarded, to be a public nuisance and to be dangerous. This stigmatisation has its Implications and Limitations...What do you think they are?