Society tends to separate our physical health from our mental health, as if the two are distinct aspects of our well-being. While our bodily and mental functions are different, they are interconnected. Poor physical health can increase a woman’s risk of developing mental health problems, just as poor mental health can have negative consequences on a woman’s physical health.
Physical symptoms are easier to see, so society feels more comfortable addressing these conditions and supporting women who are affected by their physical limitations. Mental health, on the other hand, isn’t as black and white. Because it’s less discernible, people don’t often recognize its significant impacts on a woman’s life. Yet, poor mental health can be a barrier for a woman’s career success or their ability to uphold and nurture relationships between family, friends, and their significant others.
Addressing the mental health issues that hold women back can help them accomplish great things and overcome difficult situations, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, which has increased the rates of depression and anxiety worldwide.
Below are some organizations that are steadfast in their support for women’s mental health.
International Association for Women’s Mental Health
The IAWMH has been around since early 2001 and has been dedicated to not only improving the mental health of women around the world, but also promoting gender-sensitive and autonomy-enhancing mental health services for women. Their network includes psychiatrists, gynecologists, midwives, nurses, social workers, academics, and policy makers. They’ve also recently put together a list of resources that shed light into women’s health in the midst of COVID-19, which you can find on their website.
HealHaus is a wellness center that believes mental health should be a lifestyle. They focus on the mind, body, and soul and invite women to join their yoga and meditation classes, virtual sessions, and workshops that teach women how to focus on their breath-work and overall well-being.
Founded in 2013, StrongMinds is an organization that helps treat depression in African women around the world, but with a particular focus in Uganda and Zambia. They’ve created a Group Interpersonal Psychotherapy program that has proven critical at combating feelings of depression across the women that have sought out their services.
Women’s Mental Health Network
WMHN is the latest project from Wish, a women’s mental health charity. They are the only user-led charity that works with women with mental health needs in hospitals, prisons, and throughout the community. While their offices are currently closed due to the outbreak, their support workers are still available by phone or email so that they can continue providing mental health services to women, even during the midst of a global pandemic.
As a woman, nothing makes me happier than seeing organizations do anything they can to support women in need. Mental health is a serious issue, and once we can adequately address these concerns and support women on the road to recovery, we can create a better life for women across the world.