Mental health professionals require better training to respond to women’s mental health needs. Most training programs presently do not require coverage of gender issues nor do they even attempt to address how women’s experiences are different from men’s. Women’s biological, psychological and social needs are not part of the curriculum in professional schools, and most therapy and research are premised on male experience. Mental health research by women receives only 6.05% of all mental health research funds in Canada and only 0.42% of all health research funds.
A number of studies on women’s health have demonstrated strong links between health status and socioeconomic factors affecting women. Limited participation in public life, restricted decision-making, devalued role expectations, poverty, violence and sexual abuse encumber the potential for mental well-being. Social and economic stresses, coupled with the inequitable burdens imposed by role expectations, often have a negative impact on women’s health, happiness and potential for personal fulfillment and achievement.
Social inequality has damaging consequences for the mental and emotional well-being of women. Throughout their lives, women may be considered “at risk” of developing emotional problems due to a host of social factors. Limited participation in public life, restricted decision-making, devalued role expectations, poverty, violence and sexual abuse undermine the potential for emotional well-being. Social change is needed to strengthen the emotional well-being of women individually and collectively in society.
The Canadian Mental Health Association believes that social inequality has damaging consequences for women’s mental well-being. Inequalities continue to exist for Canadian women with respect to family life, education, training, employment, and decision-making roles in society. Although a small proportion of women are benefiting from policies designed to increase access to professional occupations that command higher incomes, the vast majority of women remain in low-status, low-income jobs. So far, efforts toward implementing employment and pay equity policies have had little impact. Women continue to be over represented among the economically disadvantaged.
The last few decades have seen a growing number of women in the labour force. As the gender ratio evens out and more women assume the mantle of senior leadership, it becomes increasingly important for employers and their EAPs to identify and address gender differences in work and non-work stressors. With this in mind, we conducted a study to examine and compare EAP utilization trends among men and women from 2002 to 2004.
This study was conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of Wyeth Canada to understand the incidence and effect of depression and anxiety on women in the workplace. Its objectives were to measure the prevalence of these conditions among working women and to understand a) how these illnesses affect women’s day-to-day experience at work, b) what impact, if any, they have on women’s career paths, and c) how getting well (achieving remission), may benefit the work life and careers of the women studied.
This document by the British Colombia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health provides an excellent overview of the issues relevant to women’s mental health, and contains a series of recommendations for developing a national women’s mental health strategy.
This independent survey was conducted by Leger Marketing in December 2002 and January 2003. It explores the effects of depression and anxiety on Canadian society by compiling and comparing regional statistics.
This response by the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) outlines two basic principles that the CAEFS believes should guide the development of mental health services policy for women by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).
This site contains a number of documents that can assist community-based groups to be involved in public policy initiatives from their inception by providing a set of guidelines and steps to ensure that the public policy process becomes more public and transparent.