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Importance of Mental Health in Girls & Women

Importance of Mental Health in Girls & Women

The term mental health has become a buzzword in the current times, even in pop-culture. Where the attention to mental health is gravely necessary, many people don’t tend to take it seriously. Mental health in women, especially, is a huge concern since they are like to suffer more mental health problems as compared to the male counterparts (Mokdad et al., 2016). In Pakistan, there are a lot of cultural and social norms and practices that play an enormous role in women’s mental health. These norms and practices include the everyday discrimination women have to face to things like karo kari (Niaz, 2004). However, in this blog, we will focus on the importance of mental health among girls and women and factors that help improve it.
Social support plays a protective role for mental health in women. One study done with married women from Rawalpindi district showed that when perceived social support is high, the likelihood of depression and anxiety is reduced and marital satisfaction is increased. Further, nuclear family system, being less educated and a higher socio-economic status are strongly associated with an increased risk of mental illness among married women (Qadir, Khalid, Haqqani, & Medhin, 2013). This shows that perceiving the availability of social support diminishes the negative impact on mental health in women.
While social support is vital, it is also important to understand the impact of multiple roles that women have (or take on) on their mental health. One Canadian study showed that women who has multiple roles had poorer mental health. Also, working women who worked more than 35-40 hours a week or less report better mental health than women who are unemployed. Higher marital status quality and higher parental quality are also associated with better mental health (Glynn., Maclean, Forte, & Cohen, 2009).
It is important to promote mental health for everyone. However, in our society, women are often marginalized and have lack of access to health services, especially mental health services. It is necessary to recognize the factors that impact girls’ and women’s mental health negatively to be able to rectify them. When women will be healthy, physically and mentally, they will become productive members of the society and uplifting nation as a whole.
Sources
Glynn, K., Maclean, H., Forte, T., & Cohen, M. (2009). The association between role overload and women’s mental health. Journal of Women’s Health, 18(2), 217-223.
Mokdad, A. H., Forouzanfar, M. H., Daoud, F., Mokdad, A. A., El Bcheraoui, C., Moradi-Lakeh, M., … & Kravitz, H. (2016). Global burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors for young people’s health during 1990–2013: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet, 387(10036), 2383-2401.
Niaz, U. (2004). Women’s mental health in Pakistan. World Psychiatry, 3(1), 60-62.
Qadir, F., Khalid, A., Haqqani, S., & Medhin, G. (2013). The association of marital relationship and perceived social support with mental health of women in Pakistan. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 1150.

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