Women at Greater Risk for Depression and Anxiety
New HHS Report Released During National Women’s Health Week Points to Importance of Resiliency
Action Steps for Improving Women’s Mental Health, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH), brings together the most recent research on mental health issues in women and explores the role gender plays in diagnosing, treating and coping with mental illness. It also points to resiliency and social support systems as key factors in overcoming mental illness. Other highlights include:
- Rates of anxiety disorders are two to three times higher in women than men.
- Having a history of violence, trauma or abuse is associated with increased risk of depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder and a tendency to engage in risky behaviors.
- Female veterans may face a higher risk of PTSD than their male counterparts.
- Family and other interpersonal connections in a woman’s life may play an important role in building resiliency and offering protection from mental illness.
Acting Surgeon General
The report also outlines specific action steps for policy makers, health care providers, and researchers to take in an effort to address the burden of mental illness on women’s lives and increase their capacity for recovery. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to improve the mental health of women,” says Dr.
The Office on Women’s Health also produced a booklet for women that addresses the stigma associated with mental health. Women’s Mental Health: What It Means To You includes information on the signs and symptoms of mental illness, suggestions about where to turn for support and solutions for preventing and coping with mental illness.
Action Steps for Improving Women’s Mental Health and Women’s Mental Health: What It Means To You are available for free by visiting www.womenshealth.gov or by calling 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727).
Produced by OWH, the report was developed in collaboration with women’s health and mental health experts from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Office of Minority Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Indian Health Service, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and the Office of the Surgeon General.
National Women’s Health Week, which kicked off on Mother’s Day and will be celebrated until
The Office on Women’s Health (OWH) was established in 1991. OWH coordinates the efforts of all the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ agencies and offices involved in women’s health. The office works to improve the health and well-being of women and girls in
SOURCE The Office on Women’s Health