Summary of Study Session 9
In Study Session 9 you have learned that:
- An estimated 1 in 6 Ethiopians will suffer from a mental illness that requires treatment during their lifetime.
- Mental illnesses carry a heavy burden in terms of disability and premature mortality.
- Mental health is important to be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, especially poverty eradication, child health, maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS.
- People with mental illness experience high levels of stigma, discrimination and abuse, and this can interfere with their recovery.
- The biopsychosocial model shows how biological, psychological and social factors often interact to cause mental illness.
- Cultural explanations of mental illness may stop people seeking effective care and can conflict with the healthworker’s understanding of what caused the illness.
- Only 1 in 10 people with severe mental illness in Ethiopia receive effective treatment for their condition.
- Most mental healthcare is provided outside the existing health system, especially from self-care, family support and traditional and religious healing.
- The Health Extension Service can help to close the treatment gap by improving detection and referral of mental illness, and supporting people with mental illness to take medication and attend for follow-up treatment.
- Other important roles of the Health Extension Practitioner include educating patients, their families and the wider community about mental illness, and reducing stigma, discrimination and abuse against people with mental illness.