Document Type

Article

Department

School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa

Abstract

The Community Psychiatric Support Organization is a registered voluntary not for profit NGO in Uganda working to promote mental health by empowering the community to care for the mentally ill. Mental illness occurring in Uganda is often ‘explored’ or ‘explained’ from non-medical perspectives, including social, cultural, and/or religious belief systems. Over the last two years, the organization has conducted sixty six (66) live radio mental health education talks and twenty six (26) live television talk shows in an effort to reduce stigma towards mental illness. Such campaigns within developing contexts have not be examined extensively, although, in other sectors such as health promotion and disease prevention, it has been found to be highly successful. The retrospective document review of personal journaled materials related to the mental health messaging (radio and television) and responses between 2013 and 2015. These journals captured responses by callers, which were then analyzed using a content analysis methodology. Through this effort, it was recognized that there is an appetite of the public for necessary and appropriate information about mental health in their community. It has also shown the need to more efforts to share information and knowledge about mental health in a manner which reaches the public to reduce misperceptions and misinformation in a manner which is culturally appropriate and social acceptable. This is a major challenge in a context of development which faces various levels of literacy, embedded social/cultural beliefs, religious strengths, and a lack of resources to address mental illness.

Publication

Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education

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