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MENTAL HEALTH LITERACY ABOUT DEPRESSION AND SCHIZOPHRENIA AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL IN MAKURDI, NIGERIA
Akinjola O.*, Edeh AN, Agbir TM, Omidiji OO, Obekpa IO, Ighagbon FO and Amedu MA.
A wide gap exists between mental illness sufferers and those who get treated thereby, creating huge disability burden. One important factor creating the gap is mental health literacy which determine help-seeking behaviour. This study aims to determine the mental health literacy about depression and schizophrenia among secondary school adolescents in Makurdi. A total of 228 consenting students were recruited into the study using stratified random sampling technique, case vignettes of depression and schizophrenia followed by open ended questions were administered to assess mental health literacy. The respondents’ ages range between 13 to 19 years (mean 15.88 ± 1.55 years) and they were mostly females (51.8%). The recognition of both depression and schizophrenia were low at the rates of 29.8% and 0.4% respectively. More respondents misdiagnosed mental illness for schizophrenia (39.9%) than for depression (5.7%) and on the contrary, more of the respondents misdiagnosed emotional problems, reaction to stress, guilt of undisclosed offence and maltreatment or abuse for depression more than they did for schizophrenia. The recognition rate for depression is greater among female respondents. More respondents recommended help seeking from Psychiatrists for schizophrenia (14.9%) than for depression (1.8%). Support from family and friends was the most recommended source of help seeking both for depression (29.8%) and schizophrenia (25%). Similarly, general practitioners were recommended by 22.8% of respondent for schizophrenia and 25% for depression. Religious and traditional healers were suggested by 7% for schizophrenia and 1.3% for depression. Mental health literacy was found to be low in the current study.[Full Text Article]