DETERMINING THE MENACE OF MENTAL ILLNESS AND ITS IMPLICATION ON THE PEOPLE
The study is designed to determine the menace of mental illness and implication on the people of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. Descriptions survey design was adopted for the study because it help in the explaining the situation in its natural settings. The sample for the study was made up of one hundred mentally healthy respondents from five villages selected out of the seventy villages in Ikot Abasi local government area. Using cluster sampling technique, all the villages in Ikot Abasi were clustered into five groups based on their districts.
The main instrument for the data collection was a twenty 20 items structured questionnaire. The instrument was developed following the review of related literature and the researcher’s personal experience. The instrument consisted of two sections (A and B). Section A consist the respondent’s biodata, while section B consist questionnaire items on the various menace of the mentally sick. The items were all closed ended and patterned with an option “Yes” or “No”.
The data obtained from the questionnaire worked out from available information. The number of response for each items ended was marked out for a particular scale of items, the overall expected number of responses were work out by a working hypothesis using a chi-square step by step test of hypothesis with the formula. The findings of the study showed that for the mentally ill to roam the streets and roads without control, their motley assortment of garbage and clutter, dirty and tattered appearance together with possession of sharp or harmful objects, etc. constitute menace to the society. The result of the findings also showed that mental illness is associated with stigma, economic loss, degradation of the sanitary state of the environment where the mentally ill are staying, risk of harming innocent pedestrians etc.
1.1 Background to the Study
Mental illness which is health condition involving changes in thinking, emotion behavior (or a combination of these) associated with distress and for problems functioning in social, work or family activities (Parch, 2015) is often overlooked as a public health issue due to a historical health focus on communication and more immediately life threatening disease, but mental health has profound effects on an individual’s quality of life, physical and social well-being, and economic productivity, including effects on families and communities (Unite for Sight, 2015).
The rate of insane persons walking along Nigerians roads and street is becoming unbearable, which simply questions the sanity of our society (Otobo, 2017). Insane persons are those who have a disorder of the mind or deranged, popularity known as “mad person”. The streets and major roads in Nigeria have become endangered due to the high presence of mad people. All the states in the country are littered with insane persons (Otobo, 2017). The author opines that mad persons freely roam about the street over the last few years and the number of psychiatric patients in Nigeria has doubled over the last few years.
Ikot Abasi local government area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria is not left out of the menace of the mentally sick. The roads streets, market places, roundabout, etc. are littered with insane persons. Otobo (2017) posited that government has the responsibility to protect its citizens against any form of danger that may constituted by person with mental disability. But in Nigeria, lunatics (who cannot distinguish between right and wrong) are allowed to move freely with the mentally healthy and sane persons. The sight of mad person in our street appalling (extremely bad, shocking) their dirty and tattered appearance alone can make any or edgy (nervous) not to mention their position of sharp of harmful objects and their harmful displays, which drives fear and worry into the minds of the citizens (Otobo, 2017).
The insane persons have been overlooked for years as though there are not reluctant or pose no form of real danger or threat to the society. But in reality, this set of derange persons constitute real danger to the safety of the public the insane some time trespass in private property, houses and estate, begging for alms and even stealing foods clothe and valuable items and government do not consider it as a security threat. During events such as birthdays, weddings, and burials ceremonies, mad persons are commonly seen moving freely and constitute public nuisance. To bring under control the problem of the insane during ceremonies some people try to appease them with food and gift items, this is now gradually becoming a culture (Otobo, 2017).
The problem of public nuisance by the mentally sick is to some people attributed to the health care workers in psychiatric hospitals who do their jobs with a high level of non–challancy which sometimes result in escaped of the mentally deranged persons into the streets. Relations also contribute by releasing their mad persons into the street without considering the damaging consequence it pose to members of the society. The security personnel also share in the blame because there overlook the sight of the insane person on the streets even when there witness attacks by an insane person, and the hardly do anything about the situation (Otobo, 2017).
Also mentally illness among students in higher institution of learning can lead to lost of tuition fees, or alumni donations, and in more serious cases, such as when a student attempts or commits suicides college and university may face lawsuits and encounter negative publicity for years for years to come (campus health and safety, 2005) these constitute menace to the institution. The above background motivated the researcher towards ascertaining the menace of mental illness and its implication on the people of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The rate of mental illness among the people of Ikot Abasi local government area and then associated problem such as a divorce school dropout, loss of jobs of jobs etc with the fearful and appalling sight of these ill mentally persons that room the street market squares, bus stops, etc constitute nuisance to individuals and the community there have been report of attack by the mentally ill, and during ceremonies there have been reported to cause trouble in the communities.
Since no study have been conducted in Ikot Abasi local government area as regards the mentally ill, the researcher therefore decide to conduct this study to ascertain the menace of mental illness and its implications on the people of Ikot Abasi local government area.
1.3 Statement of Purpose
The purpose of this study is to ascertain the menace of mental illness and it implication on the people of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area and to determine the possible measures to this problem.
1.4 Significance of the Study
Result of the study will reveal the various menaces of mental illness and its implication on the people of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area. Akwa Ibom State. Specifically, result of the study would be beneficial to the relatives of the mentally ill, security personnel, government, non governmental agencies, Health personnel and the researchers, the result of the studies would help relatives of the mentally ill to accept responsibilities of their sick people, generate love, and affection, and seek for solution for problem thus, reducing the menace of mental illness in the society.
They study would help security personnel to understand and take up their roles in protecting the citizens against the embarrassment from the mentally sick. It would help government to be aware of the menace of the mentally ill in the society thus, make policies that will help to take out the mentally ill from the roads and streets, and also build more psychiatric hospitals and rehabilitation homes that can conveniently accommodate and enter for the mentally sick.
It would help non governmental agencies to assist and provide support in the rehabilitation of the mentally sick; thus reduces the menaces of mental illness in our society. They study would health personnel to know the ill effect of nonchalant attitudes towards their jobs in the care of the mentally sick in the hospitals and thus help them take their jobs serious to help rehabilitate the mentally sick in our society.
The study would have researchers to further embark on study that will through more light to the various menaces, degree of mental illness and possible remedies; it will also serve as reference materials to other researchers.
1.5 Justification of the Study
The major focus of this study is based on the menace of mentally illness and its implications on the people of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. This is as a result of lack of knowledge on the cause of illness, lack of information to tackle the probe and the subsequent control measures.
Based on this view, it is necessary to educate the people on the menace of mental illness and its implication on people. It is thus pertinent to carry out this research work in order to promote health and wellbeing of the people of the community.
1.6 Broad Objective
This research work is aimed at determine the menace of mental illness and its implication on the people of Ikot Abasi Local Government Akwa Ibom State.
1.7 Specific Objectives
The specific objectives of this study are:
- To identify the various menace of the mentally ill in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.
- To ascertain the implication of the menace on the people of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.
- To identify control measures to the menace of mental illness in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.
1.8 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated:
- What is the various menace of mental illness in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area?
- What are the implications of the menace of mental illness on the people of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area?
- What are the control measures to the menace of mental illness in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area?
1.9 Research Hypotheses
Ho: There is no significant relationship between health problems and the menace of mental illness in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.
Ha: There is significant relationship between health problems and the menace of mental illness in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between modes of transmission of the menace of mental illness and health in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.
Ha: There is significant relationship between modes of transmission of the menace of mentally illness and health in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between control and preventive measures on the menaces of mental illness and health in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area
Ha: There is significant relationship between control and preventive measures on the menaces of mental illness and health in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.
1.10 Operational Definitions
Menace: This refers to something that threatens to cause evil, harm, injury, etc.
Mental Illness: This is a behavioral or mental pattern that may cause suffering or a poor ability to function in life.
Health: This refers to a complete state of physical, mental and social wellbeing of an individual and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Insane: This is a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behaviour, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill.
Madness: Madness in this context refers to a spectrum of behaviours characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns.
Psychiatry: Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, study, and treatment of mental disorders.
Lawson Peter – Chief Editor in Projectvilla Nigeria. A writer and academic researcher.