oa Mosenodi - Social support systems and the care of the mentally ill in Botswana



This paper is based on the data drawn from the main study that investigated family caregiving of the mentally ill in Botswana. The study used a grounded theory design to investigate family care of the mentally ill in Botswana. A convenience sample of thirty (N=30) caregivers (26 females and 4 males: 16 urban and 14 rural) participated in in-depth interviews concerning their experiences, demands and social support. Data was coded using constant comparison method developed by Strauss and Corbin (1990). Data sought to understand the support the caregivers were getting in order to in turn support their mentally ill relatives. Caregivers indicated a lack of adequate resources at individual, family and community levels. Families expressed direct need for both material and informational support. Interviews further explored caregivers' conceptualisation of social support. The need to support the families was seen as critical for satisfactory and efficient provision of care for their mentally ill relatives. Sup porn impediments were highlighted and implications for community mental and policy development advanced.


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