Untreated Mental Illness can have Devastating Consequences, Experts Warn


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Experts have expressed concern about the growing challenges faced by young people with mental illness, largely due to the increasing social and economic pressures they face.

Recent statistics indicate that a significant proportion, ranging from 23 to 30%, of young individuals are currently grappling with mental health issues. The prevalence of mental illness cases has risen, leading to an increase in the number of people affected.

Dr. Juliet Nakku, the Executive Director of Butabika National Referral Hospital, has stated that a study has revealed concerning statistics indicating that 26% of university students experience mental health problems, while 23% of adolescents also suffer from depression and anxiety.

Dr. Juliet Nakku, the Executive Director of Butabika National Referral Hospital,
Dr. Juliet Nakku, the Executive Director of Butabika National Referral Hospital

Nakku emphasised the gravity of the situation saying that the numbers have exceeded the capacity of the hospital.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented influx of patients seeking help for mental health issues. The numbers have far exceeded our capacity,” Nakku stated.

She expressed deep concern as the hospital is now 200% full, surpassing its initial capacity due to the surge in patients seeking mental health care.

Dr. Emmanuel Mpamizo, a psychiatrist, said that loss of productivity among the population is caused by the devastating consequences of untreated mental illness.

Authorities at the hospital are calling for a collective reflection on individual behaviour’s to mitigate the growing burden of mental illnesses in the country considering that Butabika National Referral Hospital is the only national facility dedicated to caring for individuals with mental health challenges.

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