Community Perceptions on Mental Illness in Bungoma County Kenya
Better knowledge has often been reported to result in improved community perception and attitudesrntowards people with mental illness whilst beliefs that mental illness are treatable can encourage early treatmentrnseeking and promote better outcomes Taylor Deer 2011. It is a widely shared belief that an increase in therncommunitys mental health literacy should result in an improvement of attitudes towards people with mentalrnillness. More recently community attitude in some countries have changed as a result of initiatives to improvernthe communitys mental health literacy and in becoming more like those of professionals Creswell et al.rn2015. However the prevailing attitudes towards seeking professional help for such problems and to what extentrnthese beliefs actually influence service use for mental health problems are unknown. Thornicroft 2008rnAlonso 2015 also concluded that improved knowledge attitudes and behavior show the strongest evidence forrneffective interventions at present then direct social contact with people at the individual level Collins et al.rn2011.
The objective of the study was to evaluate the perceptions towards mental illness and the mentally illrnby the community in Bungoma County Kenya
The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study andrnQuantitative methods were adopted. Setting. The study was carried out in Bungoma County Sample. Five SubCounties in Bungoma County were purposively sampled to increase the representation. The households headsrnwere sampled by stratified sampling the researcher divided the population into strata and drew arnpredetermined number using simple random sampling n 396 Analysis. Data wasanalyzed throughrndescriptive statistics and regression.
Main outcome measures. Attitude towards the mentally ill Results. Fromrnthe results 69.7 276 of the respondents think the mentally ill are a burden to the society. Majority of thernrespondents 67.7 268 agreed that the best therapy for many of the mental patients is to be part of thernnormal community.The results showed that 69 272 disagreed that virtually anyone can become mentally ill.rnFrom the results 66.7 264 agreed that it is frightening to think of people with mental problems living in arnresidential neighbourhood.Majority 260 65.7 agreed that the mentally ill should not be given anyrnresponsibilities.Regression model results indicated that the two predictors: a attitude and b knowledge ofrnmental illness and mental health explained 34.4 of the variance F 2 369 24.713 p 0.05 R2rn .344rnequating to a medium effect size. Regression analyses found that predictor variables perception .19 p rn0.05 significantly predicted increased likelihood that participants would stigmatize people with mental illness
The study findings established that there is negative perception by members of the community ofrnBungoma County towards the mentally ill persons. This had led to stigma and stereotype effect on the mentallyrnill. Still majority of the members of the community thought that the mentally ill should be isolated from therncommunity.Regression results showed that there was a relationship between attitude and stigma and attitudernwas a good predictor of stigma in the society. However there was minimal relationship between knowledge andrnstigma but knowledge was not a significant predictor of stigma. The impact of the socio-cultural context hadrnbeen largely neglected. Perception and beliefs play a role in determining help seeking behavior and successfulrntreatment of the mentally ill. Moreover mental health literacy was an important determinant of help seekingrnbehavior.
Publication Information
Focus County(s):
Bungoma County
Programme Area(s):
Non-Communicable Diseases
Research Priority Area(s):
Disease Domain(s):
mental health
Document History:
Publication Date: 12.Nov.2020
Conference Title: