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20120623 Challenges of Caring for Children with Mental Disorders


20120623 Challenges of Caring for Children with Mental Disorders

Experiences and views of caregivers attending the outpatient clinic at Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam - Tanzania

The purpose of this study was to explore the psychological and emotional, social, and economic challenges that parents or guardians experience when caring for mentally ill children and what they do to address or deal with them. The study revealed psychological and emotional, social, and economic challenges caregivers endure while living with mentally ill children. Psychological and emotional challenges included being stressed by caring tasks and having worries about the present and future life of their children. They had feelings of sadness, and inner pain or bitterness due to the disturbing behaviour of the children. They also experienced some communication problems with their children due to their inability to talk. Social challenges were inadequate social services for their children, stigma, burden of caring task, lack of public awareness of mental illness, lack of social support, and problems with social life. The economic challenges were poverty, child care interfering with various income generating activities in the family, and extra expenses associated with the child’s illness.