Violence, Injustice and Discrimination in the Management of People Living with Mental Illness in Nigeria

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Tomike OLAWANDE, Covenant University, Nigeria
Ayodele Samuel JEGEDE, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Patrick EDEWOR, Covenant University, Nigeria
Lukman Tunde FASASI, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Charles IRUONAGBE, Covenant University, Nigeria
Olasunkanmi Samuel OLAWANDE, Covenant University, Nigeria
Mental illness presents lots of challenges especially in developing nations, Nigeria inclusive. People living with mental illness (PLWMI) are more at risk of self-harm, suicide and homicide. The rights of PLWMI to healthcare facilities have received little or no attention. More resources have been provided to other areas of health concern. There have been harmful traditional practices in the management of PLWMI. This study examined treatment and the management of PLWMI in Ogun State, Nigeria, and its implication on their full recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration into the society. Labelling theory provided the theoretical framework. Twenty In-depth Interviews were conducted among caregivers of people living with mental illness (PLWMI) (those who are receiving treatment and those who have recovered) and thirty Key Informant Interviews were conducted for orthodox practitioners (psychiatrists and social workers), community members and traditional healers that reside in Ogun State. Qualitative data were content analysed. Findings revealed that there was gender discrimination in the treatment and the management of people living with mental illness. Facilities were inaccessible and inadequate, limiting access to mental healthcare facilitiesby PLWMI. The study concluded that violence, injustice and discrimination in resource allocation in management of PLWMI existed. The government should increase the allocation of funds to mental healthcare and to protect PLWMI from violence inflicted on them during treatment.