Perceived barriers to help-seeking for depression among secondary school students in Lagos, Nigeria

Authors

  • I Adeosun
  • A Adegbohun
  • T Peters
  • O Jeje
  • A Bello
  • O Manuwa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.38029/bumj.v1i1.19

Keywords:

Depression, Barriers to help-seeking, Adolescents, Mental Health Literacy, Stigma, Treatment-gap, school-children, Nigeria

Abstract

Objective: In spite of a wide range of effective treatment options, a huge treatment gap persists for depression among adolescents especially in low and middle-income countries. The barriers to help seeking for depression among Nigerian adolescents are currently under-researched. Identifying these barriers is critical to the design of interventions towards better utilisation of mental health services. This study assessed the barriers to help-seeking for depression among adolescent secondary school students in Lagos Nigeria.

Method: Using a cross-sectional study design, 156 adolescent students attending a public co-educational secondary school in Lagos, south-West Nigeria completed a vignette-based questionnaire which assessed barriers to help-seeking for depression. The vignette depicted an adolescent with depression according to the DSM-1V criteria.

Result: The mean age of the participants was 15.9 (± 1.1) years and 49% were males. The most commonly perceived barrier to help-seeking for depression was stigma (50.6%). Other barriers reported included disapproval by families/friends (21.2%), illness-related factors (7.7%), negative attitudes to treatment (7.1%), financial constraint (5.1%), ignorance (3.9%) and preference for spiritual treatment (3.9%).

Conclusion: Stigma, ignorance, misperceptions and negative attitudes to treatment are major barriers to help-seeking for depression among adolescents. Destigmatisation and mental health literacy interventions are crucial steps towards facilitating help-seeking among adolescents with depression.

Author Biographies

I Adeosun

Department of Mental Health, Benjamin Carson Snr. School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Nigeria

A Adegbohun

Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba Lagos, Nigeria

T Peters

Department of Psychiatry, Metro Health Medical Center & Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

O Jeje

Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba Lagos, Nigeria

A Bello

Department of Mental Health, Benjamin Carson Snr. School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Nigeria

O Manuwa

Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba Lagos, Nigeria

Published

2015-03-31

How to Cite

Adeosun, I., Adegbohun, A., Peters, T., Jeje, O., Bello, A., & Manuwa, O. (2015). Perceived barriers to help-seeking for depression among secondary school students in Lagos, Nigeria. Babcock University Medical Journal (BUMJ), 1(1), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.38029/bumj.v1i1.19

Issue

Section

Research Article