Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 18

Now you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions. Write your answer in your Study Diary and discuss them with your Tutor at the next Study Support Meeting. You can check your answers with the Notes on the Self-Assessment Questions at the end of the Module.

SAQ 18.1 (tests Learning Outcomes 18.1, 18.2 and 18.3)

You decide to run an awareness-raising campaign on how to stay mentally healthy.

  • a.Is this primary, secondary or tertiary prevention?
  • b.Who would you target?
  • c.What would your main messages be?


  • a.Awareness raising about how to stay mentally healthy is an example of primary prevention/mental health promotion. That is because you are targeting people who don’t have mental illness in order to prevent them from developing mental illness.
  • b.The decision on who to target depends on the priorities in your local area. You could decide to target the community in general, or specific groups within the population, e.g. school children, women attending for antenatal care, students, health workers or others.
  • c.The main awareness-raising messages you choose will depend on the group that you are trying to target. For example, if you were planning to target the general community then you could talk about any of the following areas: the importance of (1) a happy, healthy childhood; (2) reducing the exposure to violence; (3) reducing the use of alcohol, khat and other substances; (4) using helpful coping strategies to deal with life’s problems, and/or (5) reducing the risk of children developing intellectual impairments.

SAQ 18.2 (tests Learning Outcome 18.4)

How could you screen for mental illness, violence and substance misuse in women who come to you for antenatal care?


When women attend for antenatal care, it provides a good opportunity to screen for mental illness, substance abuse and exposure to violence. As you learned in Study Session 16, pregnant women are commonly victims of intimate partner violence. Also, as well as causing suffering for the woman, mental illness and substance abuse can affect the unborn child. This makes detection even more important. Look back at the relevant Study Sessions to remind yourself how to screen for psychosis (Study Session 13), depression (Study Session 12), substance misuse (Study Session 14) and violence (Study Session 16).

SAQ 18.3 (tests Learning Outcome 18.5)

List three things that you could do to help prevent suicide in your community.


Some of the ways that you could try to prevent suicide in your community are as follows:

  • Making sure that you know how to assess a person’s suicide risk (you can remind yourself by looking back at Study Session 10).
  • Helping to support people who have attempted suicide.
  • Helping people with mental illness or a substance misuse problem to get the treatment they need.
  • Encouraging people to use helpful coping strategies if they have a problem.

SAQ 18.4 (tests Learning Outcomes 18.6 and 18.7)

A patient in your kebele who is suffering from psychosis develops a persistent cough. When they attend the health centre the nurse prescribes diazepam to treat the psychosis, but no examination of the cough problems takes place. What could you do?


People with mental illness often don’t get the same quality of care when they attend health facilities as people who don’t have a mental illness. Sometimes this happens because the mental illness stops the person expressing themselves clearly. But it can also happen if health professionals discriminate against people with mental illness.

Health professionals may hold the same negative attitudes towards the mentally ill as many in the community. In this case, the person needs to have a proper assessment to find the cause of their persistent cough. You could help by:

  • Going with the person to the health facility, helping them to express themselves clearly and helping them to remember the advice given to them.
  • Exploring the health professional’s attitude towards people with mental illness. They may believe that people with mental illness are dangerous or that they are unreliable. Because of such beliefs, the health professional may not take the person’s physical complaints seriously. If such beliefs are present then you can explain to the health professionals that people with mental illness are at high risk of physical health problems and need the same level of care as anybody else.

Summary of Study Session 18