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.
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.