Mental Health Problems: Community Perceptions in SRI LANKA

Research Methodology:
•Focus groups – Men, women, youth & children separately •Participatory Rural Appraisal – Wealth ranking & matrix ranking
•Interviews with families of "mentally ill‟ people.
Identifying PEOPLE “DIFFERENT” to NORMAL PEOPLE.
Possible Psychiatric Equivalents of People with Mental

Health Problems. Causes of Mental Problems:
•Family transmission
•Adverse life experiences
•Natural or man-made disasters
•Socio-economic factors
•Physical factors
•Addictions
•Supernatural powers and curses
•Excessive studying and inappropriate dedication to education
•Changing religion
•Excessive thinking and straining of brain / mind
•Rabies
•Not able to get "varam‟ from a deity
•Complete cure of "rakthaya‟
BUT
•Evil-eye / evil-mouth (as-vaha / kata-vaha) does not cause mental health problems.

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