Vol. 4, Issue 8 (2018)
Perception of mental illness among residents of Awka south local government area of Anambra state, southeast Nigeria
Author(s): Ukoha Ezinne Ndu, Nwankwo, Ignatius Uche
Abstract: This work investigated the perception of mental illness among residents of Awka South Local Government Area, Anambra state, Nigeria. A survey research design was used for the study in which 198 respondents constituted the study participants. Such participants were selected using multi-stage and cluster sampling techniques. The sources of data were questionnaire schedule and in-depth interview guide. However, secondary data was also gotten from textbooks, journals, and e-books. The quantitative data from the questionnaire were processed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. Also, percentages and contingency/ frequency tables were employed to present data, while the hypothesis was tested using chi-square test statistic. Findings show that mental illness was perceived to originate from the gods. Also, environmental and socio-economic factors were perceived to fuel its occurrence and progression, hence the condition was identified to be common among the lower class. The hypotheses tested showed that males tend to associate a relationship between anger of the gods and mental illness than their female counterparts do. It was therefore recommended that the general public should be enlightened on what constitutes mental illness and the appropriate responses for its management. Also the mass media should be cautioned on how they portray the mentally ill in their programmes and adverts to minimize stigmatization of those afflicted.