MENTAL HEALTH LITERACY AMONG THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS OF A NIGERIAN UNIVERSITY: A PRE-INTERVENTION STUDY
Background: Mental health in tertiary educational institutions is an important public health concern as many mental disorders have their onset in early life. Early recognition and appropriate intervention lead to better outcomes. In Nigeria not much is known about mental health literacy of undergraduate students.
Materials and Methods: This study aimed at assessing the pre-interventional Mental Health Literacy of the undergraduate at a Nigerian University. A cross-sectional design was adopted with the use of a multistage recruitment of 3300 students from all faculties. Data collection was by questionnaires on socio-demography, Mental Health Literacy, and General Health Questionnaire-12. Descriptive and inferential statistics was done using SPSS version 20.0. Significance level was p ≤0.05 and confidence interval at 95%.
Results: About 96% (3179) of the participants correctly took part, with the Global Mental Health Score being above average in 18.6%; (mean+SD); when split into domains, those with above average scores were 14.8 % for health seeking behavior, 9.6% self-help strategies, 13.7%, - knowledge of mental health and erroneous – believe 17.2%. The socio-demographic variables found significant were age groups, female gender, third year of study, affluence and being in faculty of Arts and Humanities, where courses in psychology is part of the curriculum.
Conclusion: It was concluded like in the previous studies, that there is an inadequate Mental Health Literacy among undergraduates at the Nigerian University and socio-demographic variables maybe associated with Mental Health Literacy so it is recommended that robust ways should be found to improve Mental Health Literacy on campus.
Keywords: Mental Health Literacy, Tertiary Institution Mental Health, Mental Health.