Australian Psychosis Conference 2023 Abstracts
11th September – 13 September 202
This presentation recounts my journey as the Carer for my son, who in 1997, received a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. The significant recovery I have experienced in the last 4 years is, in part, due to my acceptance that I needed to investigate my own trauma to find a comfortable context in which we could live together. The presentation ends with a message to other Carers outlining truths I wish I had been told.
Central is an awareness that when a diagnosis of a mental illness is made, there is an individual who will care about the unwell person, above all others. They may not assume the title of Carer, but the unwell person needs them.
As a Carer I was untrained in personal advocacy skills, constrained by a lack of knowledge of my rights in asking for help, and confused about where I could find guidance for us. The need to maintain the privacy of the unwell person and the overwhelming panic I felt to “fix it” was for me, the cause of much stress and anxiety. As there was also resistance to medication and outreach services, I could not rely on the limited use of cajoling and insisting as tools when encouraging the unwell person to access help from mental health services.
This presentation offers two objectives, both of which are the basis of my need to speak as an LE Speaker. The first is to gain support in assessing the need to develop a personal advocacy course suitable for MH Carers, and the second is to encourage other Carers to find a way to speak up.
Co-Authors: Ibidunni Oloniniyi; Olakunle Oginni
Organisation: Obafemi Awolowo University
Aim: Sexual harassment is rife in higher education settings globally. It affects all members of the university community and has grave mental health implications. This study aimed to determine the mental health correlates of heterosexual and same-sex SH and to explore the mental health sequelae of SH among students of three first-generation universities in South-west Nigeria.
Methodology: A concurrent mixed methods design in three universities in Southwest Nigeria. A cross-sectional survey was done. The total sample size was 1650 respondents with a margin of error of 2.5%, a 95% confidence level and a population estimate of 120,000. In each university, Students and staff were categorised by faculties into 3 clusters: science, social science, and arts using proportionate sampling. SPSS version 20 was used to analyse. Associations were tested using Pearson correlations.
A purposive participant selection approach was adopted for the qualitative aspect to identify and recruit participants who were survivors of SH for 12 IDIs across the three institutions.
Results: SH was higher among females, among lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) and those reporting high suicidality. Among the female students, depressive symptoms and suicidality were further associated with higher sexual harassment scores (0.10 ≤ r ≤ 0.16). Depressive symptoms and suicidality were associated with perception of the campus as unsafe and poorer awareness of campus resources. These associations were stronger in female compared to male students. Survivors reported feeling sad, depressed, or low; others experienced weepy spells, anger, and guilt. Some had suicidal thoughts, and flashbacks of the event, or became clinically depressed.
Conclusion: Prevention and adequate response to SH might lead to an improvement in mental health status for the university community.