Original Research Article
Year: 2018 | Month: April | Volume: 8 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 24-31
Stigmatising Attitudes towards Persons with Mental Illness among University Students in Uyo, South-South Nigeria
Henry Effiong Jombo1, Alphonsus Udo Idung2
1Department of Psychiatry, 2Department of Family Medicine,
Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
Corresponding Author: Henry Effiong Jombo
Stigma towards persons with mental illness is both a longstanding and widespread phenomenon that affects help seek behavior and quality of life of persons with mental illness
Objective: This study was conducted to determine the knowledge and attitudes of university students towards persons with mental illness.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study. A convenience sample of 130 volunteer students attending University of Uyo was recruited into the study. The data of the investigation were collected using Socio-demographic Information Form and the 40 items Community Attitudes toward the Mentally Ill (CAMI)
Results: High levels of negative and stigmatizing attitudes exist in the university students’ community as shown by high proportions of assent to items expressing authoritarian and socially restrictive views towards the mentally ill together with views expressing less benevolent attitudes in spite of acceptance of the idea of community treatment of mental illness. There was an underlying limited knowledge of causation and nature of mental illness.
Conclusion: Stigma and negative attitude toward mental illness is widespread in a community of tertiary educational students in a resource poor setting. Health educational strategies are required to change these negative attitudes and reduce stigma towards the mentally ill persons.
Key words: Stigmatising attitude, mental illness, university students, Nigeria.