International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064


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Research Paper | Psychology | Kenya | Volume 13 Issue 2, February 2024 | Rating: 5.2 / 10


Perception of Mental Illness in a Peri - Urban Community in Kenya

Lucy Jilly Akinyi | Agnes Masese Ogeto | Moses Ambili | Ruth Mokaya | Irene Chesire


Abstract: A community's perception of mental illness explains the help seeking behaviour or lack thereof. There is little research on how mental ill - health is perceived in peri urban communities in middle and low resource settings. This study aimed to assess the perception of mental illness among adults in these communities specifically their attitude, knowledge, and care of the mentally ill. Using stratified sampling, 288 adults aged 18 - 50 years were selected; 58% were females. Data was collected using a Community Attitudes to Mental Illness Questionnaire (CAMI), analysed and results presented in form of descriptive statistics and tables. Majority of the participants, 63.2% had negative opinions on mental health. In relation to their experiences, 2.8% had lived/living with mentally ill, 13.2% worked/working, 5.6% neighboured/ neighbouring, and 1.4% had a close friend. On future relations 20.8% would live with the mentally ill, 8.7% work with, 11.5% neighbour and 3.5% would have close friendship. On knowledge of types of mental illness, majority had knowledge on drug addiction (100%) and depression (57.6%), few had knowledge on Schizophrenia (19.1%), Stress (4.5%), Bipolar (5.9%), and Grief (4.5%). On help seeking behavior for mental illness, about a half (48%), would go to hospital, 26% talk to family/friend, and 2% would talk to employer. Half of the respondents (49%) acknowledged an increase in stigma and discrimination. Overall, this investigation underscores a pervasive and distorted understanding of mental illness within the studied peri - urban community.


Keywords: Help seeking behavior, Mental illness, Mental health, Perception


Edition: Volume 13 Issue 2, February 2024,


Pages: 595 - 603


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