Background: Although the benefits of public knowledge of physical diseases are widely accepted, knowledge about mental disorders has been comparatively neglected. In Nepal, there has been ignorance of mental health which has led to increase the disease burden on the community. This article is based on selective research on mental health with an aim to examine the inter-relationship between knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) and to stimulate greater attention to the importance of building a functioning mental health system which could meet the rising demand for mental health services in the community.
Methods: A brief self-administered questionnaire exploring KAP within the community was formulated by four psychosocial counselors in Dang. Questions were based on basic demographic information, opinions about potential stigmas, myths, and knowledge of mental health. This study was financially supported by the Centre for Victims of Torture (CVICT), Nepal.
Result: From 88 participants, 25% responded that physical and emotional trauma can lead to mental illness; 68.2% responded that people with mental illness seek help from doctors/psychiatrists; fear of discrimination and social stigma are seen to be the primary factors for reluctance to seek treatment.
Conclusion: This study reflects that the people of Dang are aware of mental health and the importance of family and community involvement in fighting against mental disorders. There is potential scope of involving community for tackling stigma and discrimination associated with mental health and its promotion.