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Original Papers

Mental Health issues among grade ten students in the Ampara Regional Director of Health Services area: a qualitative study

Authors:

N. H. S. Nadeeka ,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, AU
About N. H. S.
Department of Community Medicine
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K. Wijewardena

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About K.
Department of Community Medicine
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Abstract

Background

Adolescents are vulnerable to develop mental health problems due to the many physiological, psychological, and social changes which occur in their lives. Research is scarce regarding this issue from rural areas of Sri Lanka.

 

Aims

To identify and explore the mental health problems experienced by grade ten students in Ampara Regional Director of Health Services area, possible underlying reasons for these, and their coping measures.

 

Methods

A qualitative study was conducted among grade ten students and their teachers in four type IC and II schools from the Ampara educational zone in the Ampara Regional Director of Health Services area. Semi-structured focus group discussions conducted separately with students and teachers were used for data collection. Thematic analysis was performed on the collected data which was transcribed verbatim.

 

Results

Six main themes, namely, emotional problems, peer issues, use of alcohol, tobacco and other substances, involvement in groups and seeking pleasure, violent behaviour and learning difficulties were identified in the thematic analysis. Originating from single-parent families, poverty, disrupted family connectedness and low educational level of parents emerged as possible underlying risk factors for the development of mental health problems among the study group. Different ways in which students faced the issues and the importance of having proper mental health promotion services in the school context were emphasised by both students and teachers.

 

Conclusions

Multiple mental health issues in adolescents studying in grade ten were identified in this qualitative study. School health programmes are recommended to include mental health promotion for primary prevention of such issues.
How to Cite: Nadeeka, N.H.S. and Wijewardena, K., 2022. Mental Health issues among grade ten students in the Ampara Regional Director of Health Services area: a qualitative study. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 13(2), pp.21–26. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v13i2.8368
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Published on 31 Dec 2022.
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