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Psychiatry Journal
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6740346, 8 pages
Research Article

Community Perception towards Mental Illness among Residents of Gimbi Town, Western Ethiopia

1Psychiatry Department, Gimbi General Hospital, Oromia, Ethiopia
2School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia
3Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
4Research and Training Directorate, Amanuel Specialized Mental Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Received 7 June 2016; Revised 16 August 2016; Accepted 20 September 2016

Academic Editor: Yvonne Forsell

Copyright © 2016 Misael Benti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Despite the increased burden of mental health problem, little is known about knowledge and perception of the public towards mental health problems in Ethiopia. Methods. Community based cross-sectional study was conducted among selected 845 Gimbi town residents from May 28 to June 28, 2014. Results. Out of the total study participants, 304 (37.3%) were found to have poor perception (a score below mean five semantic differential scales for positive questions and above mean for negative questions) of mental illness. Being above 28 years of age (AOR = 0.48 CI (0.23, 0.78)), private workers (AOR = 0.41 CI (0.19, 0.87)), and lack of mental health information were found to be associated with poor perception of mental illness (AOR = 0.133 CI (0.09, 0.20)). Absence of family history of mental illness was also found to be associated with poor perception of mental illness (AOR = 0.37 CI (0.21, 0.66)). Conclusions. Significant proportions of the community in Gimbi town were found to have poor perception of mental illness. Poor perception is common among old aged, less educated, private workers, those unable to access mental health information, and those with no family history of mental illness. Mental health education on possible causes, treatment options, and possible outcome of treatment to the community is required.