Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 3: Mental health

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HealthWiki > A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities > Chapter 3: Mental health


a woman in a wheelchair speaking.
When you have good mental health and healthy self-esteem, you respect yourself. You have
a strong senese of your own dignity and confidence in yourself.
When you believe in yourself, you can find the strength to help yourself and others.

Having a healthy mind and spirit is just as important as having a healthy body. When your mind and spirit are healthy, you have the emotional strength to take care of yourself and your family, to see problems and do your best to solve them, to plan for your future, and to form satisfying relationships with others. When you are mentally healthy, you can accept help from other people and still value yourself.

Many disabled women develop mental health problems that make it hard for them to face challenges, feel satisfied with their lives, or contribute to the community. Sometimes, these mental health problems are caused by a woman’s disability. But usually, they are caused by the way a community treats women with disabilities.

This chapter describes the challenges to mental health that many women with disabilities face. It also describes common mental health problems and gives suggestions about how to work toward feeling better. It also shows how families and communities can promote mental health.

Remember there are no quick solutions to mental heath problems. Beware of anyone who promises this.