Hesperian Health Guides
Chapter 27: Mental Health
Good mental health is just as important as good physical health.
Just as a woman’s body can be healthy or unhealthy, so can her mind and spirit. When her mind and spirit are healthy, she has the emotional strength to take care of her physical needs and those of her family, to identify her problems and attempt to solve them, to plan for the future, and to form satisfying relationships with others.
Almost everyone has difficulty doing these things at times. But if the difficulty continues and keeps a woman from carrying out her daily activities—for example, if she becomes so tense and nervous that she cannot care for her family—she may have a mental health problem. These problems are harder to identify than problems in the body, which we can often see or touch. Yet mental health problems need attention and treatment, just as physical problems do.
This chapter describes the most common mental health problems and their causes. It also offers suggestions for how a woman can help herself or others with these problems.