Meaning of depression among social work and social administration students of Makerere University
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The purpose of this study was to examine the meaning of depression among students of Social Work and Social Administration of Makerere University who are being trained to become professional social welfare practitioners. A case study design was used to gain in-depth information on how students of Social Work and Social Administration of Makerere University do understand depression and how it is managed. I conducted the study among third year students pursuing the Degree of Bachelor of Social Work and Social Administration at Makerere University. Participants were selected using a purposive sampling technique. My study findings show that students of Social Work and Social Administration fairly understood depression according to its domains such as symptoms, causes and consequences. The signs and symptoms of depression which the participants reported include withdrawal and isolation from friends and family, dramatic weight loss or weight gain. Participants attributed depression to factors such as academic stress, loss and grief, poverty as well as relationship breakups. The consequences of this depression according to participants include suicide, poor academic performance and drop out, loss of social relationships. Participants reported that students of Social Work and Social Administration managed depression through seeking professional help from counselors or therapists, talking to their peers, and frequent partying, which included taking drugs and alcohol. Depression is a major disease that is eating away at people especially, university students but it is not given the urgent attention it requires. Most students simply brush it off as something minor; yet, if not properly dealt with can have dire consequences now and later in the future. Mental health literacy should be improved and encouraged among students of Makerere University especially those whose future careers are directed towards enhancing the social well-being and functioning of people in their communities.