Mental health is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. On the other hand, a mental disorder or mental illness is an involuntary psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture.
Gender is a critical determinant of mental health and mental illness. The patterns of psychological distress and psychiatric disorder among women are different from those seen among men. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and unspecified psychological distress are 2–3 times more common among women than among men; whereas addictions, substance use disorders, and psychopathic personality disorders are more common among men.
We at National Women’s Parliament, believe that concerted efforts at social, political, economic, and legal levels can bring change in the lives of Indian women and contribute to the improvement of the mental health of these women.
CARE is a not-for-profit organization working in India for over 65 years, focusing on alleviating poverty and social injustice. We do this through well planned and comprehensive projects in health, education, livelihoods and disaster preparedness and response. Our overall goal is the empowerment of women and girls from poor and marginalised communities leading to improvement in their lives and livelihoods.