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1.1 General Introduction

Mental health, health condition, and socioeconomic level are all key factors in determining an individual’s happiness. There are assumed to be significant interactions between these characteristics of happiness, with causal relationships flowing both ways.

Poor health and mental health can diminish earning potential by interfering with schooling and employment, and poverty can contribute to lower educational attainment, worse physical health, and depression (Ardington and Case, 2010).

Das et al. (2007) investigate the correlates of mental health in five developing nations, discovering that being older, female, widowed, and in poor physical health are all associated with lower mental health outcomes. Their interpretation of their research on the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and mental health, on the other hand, is varied.

They discover that education is connected with greater mental health in the majority (but not all) of the nations studied. Witoelar et al.

(2009) examine data from the fourth wave of the Indonesian Family Life Survey and discover that education is protective against depression among Indonesians aged 45 and older, but no association between per capita expenditure and mental health is found when education is controlled for.

In all but one study, an analysis of 11 smaller community-based studies in six low and middle-income countries indicates a negative association between education and common mental diseases (Patel and Kleinman 2003).

Other markers of socioeconomic position, such as employment and income, yielded more mixed results. Case and Deaton (2009) show that different dimensions of SES protect in different ways in two localised South African studies: education appears to protect health status but has little influence on anxiety or depression, whereas assets protect against depression but not against ill health.

One of the most constant findings in both industrialised and developing countries’ studies of mental health is that the risk of depression increases with age.

Although the relationship between socioeconomic status and mental health has received significant attention in the literature, particularly among the elderly, there is very little research that directly addresses whether depression correlates change as people age (Ardington and Case, 2010).

Considerable and growing data suggests that social, economic, and environmental variables influence mental health and many common mental diseases. Patel et al.

(2010) found persuasive evidence that poor socioeconomic status is systematically associated with increased incidence of depression in a review of global research for the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health.

Gender is also crucial; women are more likely to suffer from mental diseases, and they frequently experience social, economic, and environmental variables in different ways than men.

Taking action to improve daily living conditions before birth, during early childhood, at school age, during family building and working ages, and later in life provides opportunities to both improve population mental health and reduce the risk of mental disorders associated with social inequalities.

While comprehensive intervention across the life course is required, scientific consensus suggests that providing the best possible start for every child would result in the greatest societal and mental health benefits (WHO, 2014).

In high-income countries, the frequency and socioeconomic distribution of mental diseases has been fairly extensively recorded.

While low- and middle-income countries are becoming more aware of the problem, there is still a huge lack in research to measure and explain the problem, as well as strategies, policies, and programmes to avoid mental diseases.

There is a significant need to increase the political and strategic priority given to the prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of mental health through social determinants of health action (WHO, 2014).

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

One of the most major environmental risk factors for mental health is socioeconomic status. People with higher incomes, higher occupational statuses, and higher levels of education are happier and less likely to suffer from depression and other psychiatric problems than people with lower socioeconomic status (Clark, Frijters, & Shields, 2008; Lorant et al., 2003).

In other words, income appears to be significant for subjective well-being inasmuch as it helps people meet their basic material demands, but it becomes less relevant after that (Clark et al., 2008).

People with mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression, are considerably more likely to die as a result of untreated mental or physical health problems than the general population (WHO, 2008; Roshanaei and Katon, 2009).

People with schizophrenia and major depression, for example, have an overall increased risk of mortality that is 1.6 and 1.4 times greater than the general population, respectively, and people with schizophrenia have two- to three-fold higher mortality rates compared to the general population, resulting in 10- to 25-year reductions in life expectancy (Laursen et al., 2012).

One of the most obvious explanations for greater mortality rates among people with mental disorders is inequitable care and treatment for both mental and physical ailments. In LMICs, between 75% and 85% of persons with serious mental problems are unable to obtain the care they require, compared to 35% to 50% of those in high-income countries (Demyttenaere, 2004; OECD, 2012).

Homelessness, greater rates of incarceration, poor educational prospects and outcomes, lack of employment, and limited income-generating opportunities are all consequences of mental diseases.

Furthermore, the stigma, myths, and misconceptions surrounding mental illness are at the base of most of the discrimination and human rights violations encountered on a daily basis by persons with mental disability (Baldwin and Marcus, 2011).

People with mental illnesses are far more likely than others to fall into poverty. Because of their sickness, they may be unable to work.

If they are employed, their sickness may result in more sick days or worse productivity, affecting their income, promotion opportunities, entitlements to employment-related pensions, or health insurance coverage (Ssebunnya et al., 2009; Thornicroft et al., 2009).

Against this context, this study investigates the impact of poor socioeconomic status on mental health, with a focus on the Oto-Awori Local Council Development Area of Lagos State (LCDA).

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The overall goal of this study is to investigate the impact of poor socioeconomic position on mental health. Other specific goals of this research include:

a.To investigate the impact of socioeconomic status on psychiatric diseases.

b.To examine the relationship between living standards and discrimination against the poor.

c.To look at the relationship between low socioeconomic status and homelessness in the Oto-Awori LCDA.

To learn about the health consequences of living in a low socioeconomic class.

1.4 Research Questions

This study effort will shine a spotlight on the following research questions:

1. What effect does low socioeconomic position have on psychiatric disorders?

2. What is the relationship between living standards and poverty discrimination?

3. What is the relationship between poverty and homelessness in Oto-Awori LCDA?

4. What are the health consequences of having a low socioeconomic status?

1.5 Research Theories

At the 0.05 level of significance, the researcher aims to test the following hypotheses:

The first hypothesis is as follows:

H0: Low socioeconomic level has no substantial effect on psychiatric problems.

H1: Low socioeconomic level has a major impact on psychiatric diseases.

Hypothesis No. 2:

H0: There is no significant association between living standards and discrimination against the poor.

H1: There is a considerable association between living standards and discrimination towards the poor.

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