Is there a women's mental health month?

While mental health problems can affect both sexes, they affect men and women in very different ways. May 10-16 is National Women's Health Week. Mental disorders can affect women and men differently. Some disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are more common in women, and certain disorders, such as perinatal depression, are unique to women.

Every year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with mental illness. During May, NAMI joins the national movement to raise mental health awareness. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. May is a time to raise awareness for people living with mental or behavioral health problems and to help reduce the stigma that many experience.

Hospitals and health systems play an important role in providing behavioral health care and helping patients find available resources in their community. Visit the NAMI Mental Health Awareness Month page for blogs, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements and national events. NPW is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness and action around substance use prevention and promoting positive mental health. Hospitals and health care systems have a unique opportunity to serve as leaders and organizers of a wide spectrum of community agencies and other community partners to form regional behavioral health care networks to improve access to the right care at the right time and place.

Women and girls are much more likely to fight an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder than men and boys. The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Women's Health (OWH) encourages women and girls to reflect on their individual health needs and take steps to improve their overall health. The AHA aims to help hospitals and health systems increase the integration of physical and behavioral health services in acute inpatients, emergency departments and primary care. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States.

The AHA supports the integration of behavioral and physical health and helps hospitals play a key role in building partnerships to ensure access to a full range of behavioral health care. These strategies improve the overall value of healthcare and can lead to improvements in patient outcomes, quality of care, and overall costs. Women are twice as likely to be affected by GAD as men, and it's also common for women to have depression and anxiety. Eating disorders are not just a mental health problem for women, but they overwhelmingly affect women and girls.

The features of current and emerging regional behavioral health networks across the country provide information for other communities interested in improving access to behavioral health services through community partnerships. Women are more likely to be affected by men, in part because PTSD is often triggered by traumatic experiences that are more common in women.

Derrick Bekhit
Derrick Bekhit

Typical tvaholic. Freelance internet maven. Hipster-friendly pop culture fanatic. Professional foodaholic. Avid troublemaker.