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A ‘St Giles case’: negotiating mental illness, treatment and the adverse impact of stigma in Suva, Fiji

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thesis
posted on 28.03.2022, 17:50 by Natasha N. McDonald
This thesis explores the role and impact of stigma on mentally ill individuals and the provision of mental health services within Fiji. Fiji is home to a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural population, which is currently undergoing rapid social change that is changing everyday life within Fiji. As a result there is a very diverse understanding around mental illness and how mentally ill individuals should be treated, therapeutically and socially. Therefore this thesis first explores the different etiologies of mental illness that exist within Fiji. I also investigate the relationship between understandings of mental illness and help seeking behaviours, and the resulting treatment choices of Fijians in Suva. Finally, this thesis discusses how the subjectivity of the mentally ill individual is impacted in response to the intersubjective process of stigma, which is a prevalent issue within Fiji. This research project was based in Suva, Fiji’s capital city. A mixed method approach was utilized to meet research objectivities. Primary participant observation was engaged in over multiple sites: St Giles Psychiatric Hospital, Stress Management Ward, and the Community Rehabilitation Outreach Program. Additionally I attended outpatient clinics, home visits and mental health stakeholder meetings. In complement to participant observation, unstructured interviews (n=49) and focus groups (n=4) were conducted with inpatients, ex-patients, carers, mental health professionals and various NGO employees working in the area of mental health.

History

Table of Contents

Part 1. Contextualising mental illness in Fiji -- Part 2. Mental illness and healing in Fiji -- Part 3. A St Giles case -- Part 4. Conclusion.

Notes

Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 68-74

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes

Degree

MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Anthropology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Anthropology

Year of Award

2016

Principal Supervisor

Eve Vincent

Additional Supervisor 1

Odille Chang

Rights

Copyright Natasha N. McDonald 2015. Copyright disclaimer: http://mq.edu.au/library/copyright

Language

English

Extent

1 online resource (83 pages)

Former Identifiers

mq:50042 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1110939