Knowledge and practices on mental illness among community members of Buwenge Town Council Jinja District

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Kampala International University, School of Health Sciences
The study was carried out in Buwenge Town Council, Jinja District with the purpose of assessing the knowledge and practices on mental illness among community members. A descriptive cross sectional study design and quantitative in nature was used. Convenient sampling method was used to recruit 40 respondents for the interview. Results indicated that general knowledge on the causes of mental illness was poor as majority 32(82.5%) attributed to witch craft and 30(70%) attributed to curses as the major causes of mental illness. However, respondents had a good knowledge on the signs and symptoms of mental illness as most 30(75%) mentioned talking to self and destruction respectively as the signs of mental illness and knowledge on the preventive measures was also good with majority 33(82.5%) of the respondents said proper treatment of infections and 30(75%) mentioned avoiding alcoholism and drug abuse as one of the preventive measures of mental illness. Although most respondents had a good level of knowledge about mental illness, this was not adequately translated into good practices towards mental illness, and most poor practices included 18 (45%) of respondents recommended discriminating mentally sick people, 9 (22.5%) isolating mentally sick people from others and 6(15%) recommended denial of jobs. In conclusion, the study found out that although most community members in Buwenge Town Council, Jinja District possessed some knowledge about the true causes of mental illness. This was not adequately translated into good practices. The key recommendations included provision of community outreach and sensitization on mental illness as well as increasing use of hospitals for screening and treatment of mental illness
A research report submitted to Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examination Board in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Diploma in Nursing
Mental illness, Mental illness among community members, Buwenge Town Council, Jinja district