Mental Health Patients Are Stigmatized Essay

Mental Health Patients Are Stigmatized Essay

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Mental health patients are stigmatized, even in the most developed nations. Even in these developed nations there is often a lack in proper access and education for underprivileged populations. One way the burden of mental health issues can be measured in Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY); one DALY is thought of as one year lost of “healthy” life. (WHO, 2016) The sum of these DALYs are described by the World Health Organization as being “The gap in the current health status and an ideal health situation where the entire population lives to an advanced age, free of disease and disability.” (WHO, 2016)
In Africa, investments in mental health care have been low, and for the most at-risk populations there is little or no access to mental health programs available. Of the most at-risk populations, women are the most affected by the mental health gap and in developing nations, such as Tanzania; the gap is felt even more. As one of the poorest nations in the world, there are very few resources allocated toward mental health, and even fewer for women. Tanzania has little data available on the lifetime effect of mental health and female populations. There is a need to better understand the mental health gap in Tanzania and the effects it has on the female populations of this country. I believe that women in Tanzania are experiencing high levels of distress for a variety of reasons, and do not have the means or opportunity to seek assistance.
I am interested in finding information about the general attitude about women’s mental health from a culturally adopted female perspective, as well as prevailing perceptions on mental health as whole. I am curious if the reason that mental health information concerning women is primarily limited...


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...aditions and cultural acceptable means of communication.
Conclusion
Identifying the mental health gap within Tanzania’s female populations will go a long way towards closing said gap. Addressing the needs and identifying the cultural idioms of distress of the female-based populations of Tanzania is important for the future of the country. Culturally sensitive and accurate diagnostic tools are urgently needed. Combining western-based mental health practices with local traditional healer’s will aid in closing the gap as well as reducing stigma that surrounds mental health.
Future
It is my goal to conduct ethnographic interviews with female community members of various backgrounds to further understand the mental health gap of female populations in Tanzania; and, what manners of treatment would be culturally appropriate/effective for said members of the community.

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