School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Cindy Goodrich


adolescents, teenagers, mental health, mental illness, mental disorders, psychiatric disorders Nigeria, barrier, intervention




Mental illness is a public health crisis with extensive stigma that has been substantially neglected in Nigeria. The general belief in Nigeria is that mental illness originates from supernatural causes such as possession of evil spirits; hence, individuals with mental illness are left in the hands of “the gods” or traditional healers for help. The prevalence of mental health disorders is high amongst adolescents in Nigeria due to rapid biological, social, and psychological changes that increase their susceptibility to mental health complications. Despite the high prevalence of mental illness among Nigerian adolescents, mental health care access and utilization in this population continue to remain low. The purpose of this integrative review is to evaluate available evidence regarding mental health issues among adolescents in Nigeria and to identify some of the barriers to the utilization of mental health services and mental health–related interventions. This integrative review utilized Whittemore and Knafl’s framework. The review showed a high prevalence of mental health disorders and suicidal behaviors among the adolescent population in Nigeria. The review also revealed multiple risk factors for the development of mental illness among this population. In addition, the review highlighted low mental health literacy, mental illness stigma, poor mental health facilities, and lack of mental health providers as some of the barriers to seeking care among adolescents in Nigeria. Finally, mental health literacy programs, role play, and social contacts were identified as some of the effective mental interventions among this population. The review elucidated the need to develop an effective model for the prevention and early detection of mental health disorders among adolescents in Nigeria.

Available for download on Friday, March 01, 2024

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