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PERSPECTIVE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 218-221

The impact of social changes on the mental health of women in the 21st century


Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Helen Herrman
Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
Australia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-9962.193199

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The mental health of women and girls is closely connected with their status in society. Their empowerment and participation are important contributors to a safe and productive community life. Participation and the empowerment underlying it are in turn components of good mental health. This has special meaning for those living in poverty and those subject to violence in the home or displaced by conflict and natural disasters. The participation of these women and girls is critical for tackling social and health concerns - such as maternal and child health, violence at home and in the streets, substance abuse, prevention of HIV infection, and gender equity. The strategies for promoting the mental health of women and girls and for tackling their mental health problems are overlapping. The actions in each case include a strong focus on changing social attitudes and investment and the development of partnerships and local participation. For example, the maternal and child health problems relating to perinatal mental disorders potentially can be prevented and managed in low- and high-income settings by effective actions at individual and community level. Comprehensive approaches are needed to preventing suicidal behavior among women and girls, especially in low-income countries and communities. The World Psychiatric Association is working with partners to set priorities and develop a framework for action.


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