Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice
 
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 355-360

Mental health literacy among caregivers of persons with mental illness: A descriptive survey


1 Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Institute of National Importance, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department Psychiatric Social Work, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Institute of National Importance, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Videhi Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Institute of National Importance, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Vijayalakshmi Poreddi
Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Institute of National Importance, Bangalore - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0976-3147.154571

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Background: Despite of growing evidence of mental disorders in developing countries, research on mental health literacy is limited from India. Aim: To examine mental health literacy among caregivers of persons with mental illness Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive survey was carried out among 161 randomly selected caregivers of persons with mental illness at outpatient department of a tertiary care centre. Data was collected through face to face interview using a structured questionnaire. Results: Regarding the causes of mental illness, a majority agreed that genetic inheritance (69%), substance abuse (64%) and brain disease (59.6%) are main factors for developing mental illness. Although more than two-thirds agreed that anyone could suffer from mental illness, 61.5% also agreed that people with mental health problems are largely to blame for their condition. The majority of the participants also agreed that mentally ill are not able to maintain friendships (45.9%), are dangerous (54%), and not capable to work (59.1%). Just over half (55.9%) of the participants would not want people to know if they had a mental illness and nearly half of them also expressed that they would feel ashamed if a family member had a mental illness. Conclusion: Based on the findings of the present study researchers suggest that there is an urgent need to educate and change the attitudes of caregivers through mental health literacy programs specifically designed for them.


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