Butabika hospital registers rise in the number of mental illness cases during lockdown

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown, records show that there is a rise in the number of mental illness cases.

The management of Butabika national referral mental hospital told the media that it has received more cases of mental breakdown during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The deputy director of the hospital, Dr. Juliet Nakku said they have registered many cases of stress and depression.

She also hinted at the increasing incidents of domestic violence attributing it to stress among others.

"I looked at the numbers of people with mental illness we had in February 2020 and that was before the lockdown and the numbers we had between April and May. It has doubled," she said.

Nakku said there is a significant rise in cases of stress and depression due to the effect of the pandemic.

" A lot of people are experiencing anxiety and many people are having features of stress and others developed depression. We have even seen people who have become suicidal," she said.

She said the lockdown rendered many people idle making some of them resort to drinking and taking unnecessary substances.

"We have many people drinking quite heavily than usual and this is because they have nothing to do. They are bored, others are not sure of getting food for their families, others are thinking of school fees. There are a lot of things in the minds of people," she said.

She said the current situation has caused many people sleepless nights hence getting traumatised in one way or another.

She however said that the hospital can deal with the new numbers of mental illness.

"We have the space to treat people who need admission. Fortunately, not all these mental illness cases need admission," she noted.

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