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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Zimbabwean Families of the Mentally Ill: Experiences and Support Needs
Authors:Wintersteen, R.
Mupedziswa, R.
Wintersteen, L.
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
Medicine, Nutrition, Public Health
Mental diseases
Social implications
Abstract:This paper presents the results of a study undertaken in Zimbabwe which set out to document the experiences, attitudes and needs of families as they face the responsibility of caring for persons with mental illness. The basic aim was to paint a picture of the service needs of both mentally ill persons and their families and to determine under what burdens families labour as caretakers. The study involved families of patients whose illnesses were diagnosed as or closely resembled schizophrenia or major affective disorders. Some 34 interviews were conducted in various parts of Zimbabwe. The findings of the interviews relate to the demographic distribution of the respondents, the course of illness, patterns of help seeking, coping strategies, the future, and what caregivers want. They have implications both for practice and for public policy. The study concluded, amongst others, that families continue to bear a heavy responsibility for providing assistance to persons with mental illness, and hence require a great deal more support, education and additional services from government, NGOs and the wider community to help them successfully assist in caring for their family members. Bibliogr., sum.