For years, mental health has not been a priority in both developing and developed countries and this is seen in low budgets, if at all, allocated to various mental health sectors worldwide. Recent studies show that one in three countries has a budget dedicated to mental health. This is further compounded by a shortage of infrastructure and mental health staff. Consequently, this has a huge impact on forensic state patients (FSPs) who receive fragmented services from various stakeholders. Namibia has a shortage of mental health staff and only has one fully fledged centre offering mental health services. Whilst FSPs experience a wide array of challenges, there is a dearth of studies that particularly explore these challenges from a Namibian perspective. This user-led research sought to inform mental healthcare workers on these challenges. The goal of the study was to explore and describe the challenges experienced by hospitalised FSPs regarding mental health services in Namibia. The study utilised a qualitative approach and was applied in nature. It employed a collective case study design and utilised purposive sampling to intentionally select a sample of hospitalised FSPs. A sample of 12 participants was drawn from a population of 75 hospitalised FSPs at the Mental Health Care Centre of the Windhoek Central Hospital. The study?s findings show that participants faced challenges such as lack of access to mental health treatment prior to their admission, stigmatising attitudes, and lengthy stays in both holding institutions and at the forensic unit. The study proposes the training of all staff on the Patient Charter (Ministry of Health and Social Services, 2016) and the utilisation of a patient-centred approach to treatment of FSPs. It also proposes granting leave of absence to FSPs so as to prepare them for eventual discharge.
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2018.