Assessment of knowledge and attitude of undergraduate students’ of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria towards depressionFatima Idris Auwal, Maryam Yusuf Tanimu, Samira Nndawan Abdu Aguye, Hadiza Usman Ma’aji
Background and Aims: Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and was projected to become the second most burdensome disease by 2020. While there is growing literature on the mental health literacy of adults, there has not been a parallel interest in mental health awareness of young people in Nigeria. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess the knowledge of and attitudes towards depression in undergraduate students. Methods: The study was a cross-sectional survey conducted from August to November 2019. Ethical approval for the study was sought from the University’s research ethics committee. Consenting students across all levels were then sampled and recruited. Participants were presented with the ‘friend in need’ questionnaire designed to elicit the participants’ recognition of mental health disorders depicted in the form of a vignette. Results: Out of the 415 questionnaires distributed, only 365 were adequately filled indicating an 88% response rate. The majority of the participants were female (62.5%) and a total of 132 respondents (36.2%) correctly identified and labelled the depression vignette. Insomnia was the most identified symptom (29%) of depression by the participants. More than onequarter (30%) of the participants reported that they would be extremely worried about the depressed character and believed it will take the character longer than a few months to recover (54%). Friends were the most recommended source of help (33.1%), followed by professionals (30.7%) and then others. Conclusion: It was established that university undergraduate students do not have adequate knowledge about depression.