Sierra Leone: Nurses Not Curses – Witchcraft Beliefs and Mental Health in Sierra Leone

Mental health is a serious problem in Sierra Leone, but there is still only one hospital equipped to deal with mental issues and there is a deep stigma around mental health.

A study of Sierra Leoneans’ perceptions of mental health in 2002 found that 25% thought psychological problems were due to substance abuse, 16% cited “God’s will” and 10% believed such conditions were associated with “spirits, curses or demons.” Many of these understandings and many of the stigmas around mental health still remain today.

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