Women's Mental Health

Elsevier, International Encyclopedia of Public Health (Second Edition), 2017, Pages 434-443
Prabha S. Chandra, Meiya Varghese, and T.A. Supraja

Women's mental health is multifactorial which is determined by both biological and social factors. Examining the clinical profile of mental disorders in women brings to light the fact that men and women are affected disproportionately by mental illness. The greater vulnerability of women can be owing to physiological changes as well as social factors such as poverty, sexual abuse, stress, intimate partner violence, and so on. Mental health during pregnancy and postpartum deserves special attention as untreated maternal depression results in serious ill effects in both the mother and the child. Reproductive health problems like infertility, female sterilization, and reproductive tract complaints also have been related to poor mental health in women. It is important to view mental health programs in a gender-based approach to circumvent the unique challenges posed by women's mental health today. Apart from this, exploring other modes of service delivery such as mobile phone technology which has the potential to be effective and improve accessibility to services can boost mental health delivery for women.