Use of Mental Health Services in Primary Health Care Delivery Systems in a Developing Country: A Survey of Selected General Hospitals in Delta State Nigeria
- Mental health, Primary health care settings, General hospitals, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Developing countries.
Studies on the use of mental health services in Nigeria are scarce. Most of the existing studies have focused on psychiatric illnesses. However the context for the assessment and treatment of many mental health disorders in developing countries including Nigeria is moving from mental hospitals to primary health care providers (PHC). This present study was conducted in Delta State Nigeria to assess the use and provision of mental health services in PHCs (General Hospitals). Two sets of questionnaires were used for the study; one set was given to health practitioners (15), while the other was given to 50 community respondents who were patients in these facilities. The results show that there is low utilization of mental health services in PHCs. In addition, patients do not have a positive attitude towards the use of formal mental health services and also lack an awareness of the availability of these services in PHC settings.