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The Attitudes of the Police towards Persons with Mental Illness: A Cross-sectional Study from Benin City, Nigeria

1Department of Clinical Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City, Nigeria

2Medicals, Nigeria Police, Benin City, Nigeria


American Journal of Applied Psychology. 2015, Vol. 3 No. 3, 57-61
DOI: 10.12691/ajap-3-3-2
Copyright © 2015 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Joyce O Omoaregba, Bawo O James, Nosa G Igbinowanhia, Wilson O Akhiwu. The Attitudes of the Police towards Persons with Mental Illness: A Cross-sectional Study from Benin City, Nigeria. American Journal of Applied Psychology. 2015; 3(3):57-61. doi: 10.12691/ajap-3-3-2.

Correspondence to: Joyce  O Omoaregba, Department of Clinical Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City, Nigeria. Email: jomoaregba@yahoo.com

Abstract

In developing countries, the police are often required to intervene in matters relating to the mentally ill. They also constitute an important point in pathways to care. Negative attitudes towards the mentally ill limit the effectiveness of the police in facilitating care. This study sought to determine the attitudes of police officers and men towards individuals with mental illness as a way of guiding the development of appropriate anti-stigma interventions. A cross sectional study of police officers and men (n=219) was undertaken between July and August 2012 in Benin- City, Nigeria, using the self-administered Community Attitudes towards Mental Illness (CAMI) questionnaire. Negative attitudes were prevalent among the police surveyed. They were authoritarian and less benevolent in their views regarding mental illness and the mentally ill. They were also majorly against ideas to incorporate mental health care in the community. Married policemen and those with greater than 12 years of formal education were found to be more benevolent in their attitudes towards the mentally ill. Clearly, anti-stigma campaigns involving educational sessions are needed in the Police force.

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