Mental illness, social support, meaning in life and hope
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This study was about the comparison of social support, meaning in life and hope among mentally ill and diabetic patients. A comparative research design was used with a sample of 100 respondents between the ages of 20 and above. 50 respondents were mentally ill and other 50 were diabetic patients. Data was collected using questionnaires which were given to patients to fill and were collected right away. Information was coded and entered into the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) program. A t-test and a simple regression analysis were used to test the hypotheses. Results revealed that: more females (55%) participated in the study than males (45%).diabetic patients attained higher education levels (60%) than mentally ill patients (40%). Majority of respondents were between the ages of 26 and 40 years for both groups. Mentally ill patients were separated/divorced (50%) compared to diabetic patients who had stable marriage (60%). 21% of mentally ill patients received adequate social support compared to other comparative group that registered a higher percentage of 30%. Therefore, the alternative hypothesis was retained. 41% of the mentally ill patients registered a higher level in meaning in life, compared to 35% of the other group and the alternative hypothesis was retained. Mentally ill patients registered a low percentage in hope levels 29% compared to the comparative group that came up with 38%. The alternative hypothesis was also retained. The study concluded that mentally ill patients receive less social support from their significant others, which has contributed to the low levels of hope though they still attach meaning to life. Recommendations suggested that the initiation and implementation of psychosocial programs in treatment of the mentally ill, family involvement, sensitization of communities about mental illness and future research on other factors that contribute to hope of mentally ill patients.