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      Stigmatisation of mental illness among employees of a Northern Nigerian University


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          Prejudices against people with mental illness are widespread in many societies leading to a number of detrimental consequences. In order to adequately develop programmes and services that will help protect the rights and privileges of people with mental illness, it is imperative to study the nature of stigma and factors associated with it. Our objective in this study was to observe the level of stigmatisation of the mentally ill among employees of a Nigerian University and the factors associated with it.

          Materials and Methods:

          The study was carried out at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital and the Ahmadu Bello University main campus. Employing a two-staged random sampling technique, 15 departments were chosen from both institutions, after which 10 participants were further sampled from each department to obtain a total of 150 participants. All the participants were administered the socio-demographic questionnaire and Mental Illness Clinicians’ Attitude 4 th version (MICA 4).


          The findings indicate that 53.4% of respondents’ classified as high stigmatisation while 46.6% was classified as low stigmatisation. Low scores on stigmatisation were observed among departments of psychiatry, nursing and ophthalmology, while high scores were observed among respondents from administration and engineering. Relationship between variables and predictors of stigmatisation were also established.


          There is a high tendency to stigmatise persons with mental illness except where there has been some contact with mental health practice or among the clinical departments in the hospital. We recommend community psychiatry care for the mentally ill and psycho-education for staff periodically to reduce this level of stigmatisation.

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          Most cited references22

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          The world health report 2001 - Mental health: new understanding, new hope

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            Stigmatisation of people with mental illnesses.

            Recognition of the additional social handicaps and distress that people with mental illnesses experience as a result of prejudice. To determine opinions of the British adult population concerning those with mental illnesses as baseline data for a campaign to combat stigmatization. Survey of adults (n = 1737 interviewed; 65% response) regarding seven types of common mental disorders. Responses evaluated concerned eight specified perceptions. Respondents commonly perceived people with schizophrenia, alcoholism and drug addiction as unpredictable and dangerous. The two latter conditions were also viewed as self-inflicted. People with any of the seven disorders were perceived as hard to talk with. Opinions about effects of treatment and prognosis suggested reasonable knowledge. About half the respondents reported knowing someone with a mental illness. Negative opinions indiscriminately overemphasize social handicaps that can accompany mental disorders. They contribute to social isolation, distress and difficulties in employment faced by sufferers. A campaign against stigma should take account of the differences in opinions about the seven disorders studied.
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              Labeling Mental Illness: The Effects of Received Services and Perceived Stigma on Life Satisfaction


                Author and article information

                Niger Med J
                Niger Med J
                Nigerian Medical Journal : Journal of the Nigeria Medical Association
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                Jul-Aug 2015
                : 56
                : 4
                : 244-248
                [1]Department of Clinical Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Barnawa, Kaduna, Nigeria
                [1 ]Department of Psychiatry, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria, Kaduna, Nigeria
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Victor Obiajulu Olisah, Department of Psychiatry, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. E-mail: olisahvictor@ 123456yahoo.com
                Copyright: © Nigerian Medical Journal

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

                Original Article

                employees,mental illness,nigeria,stigma,stigmatization
                employees, mental illness, nigeria, stigma, stigmatization


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