Sad: One out of three ugandans suffers mental breakdown. Study Reveals

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A recent study conducted by Makerere University School of Public Health and Butabika Hospital in Uganda has revealed that 30% of Ugandans have a mental disorder. This means one in three Ugandans is most likely grappling with poor mental health.




The study, released on October 31 to coincide with World Mental Health Day, involved 2,067 participants from various regions of the country and found that mental health issues are of significant concern.


During a press conference on October 25, anticipating the World Mental Health Day, State Minister for Health Anifa Kawooya emphasized the importance of



addressing mental health as a top priority in the country’s healthcare sector, particularly in light of the exacerbating effects brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.




“COVID-19 made us stay in our homes for a long time bringing a rise in mental disorders. People were not used to staying home with their partners and families for the whole day, which changed their moods and in so doing affected their mental health,” she said.



Alcohol consumption was also identified as a major contributor to mental health disorders, with seven out of 100 respondents exhibiting harmful alcohol use or dependence.



Dr. Fredrick Makumbi, an associate professor at Makerere University, shared findings that indicated a high prevalence of severe anxiety and depression among adults.



Additionally, the study revealed that public health facilities in Uganda have limited knowledge and skills to provide adequate mental health care.



What’s more, stigma against individuals with mental health challenges was found to be widespread, reducing the willingness to seek care and making reintegration into communities more difficult.


The report also indicated that a significant number of people turned to religious leaders and traditional healers for help instead of seeking care from qualified medical professionals.


In a previous publication dated October 24, Uganda was identified as the sixth country in Africa with a high prevalence of mental disorders.


The study conducted between March and September 2023 aimed to reduce societal stigma associated with mental health issues.

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