Mental Health Month.
Sensible Living for a Lifetime . . .
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
Women’s Global Mental Health: Empowerment
- Integrating mental health globally involves innovative transnational interventions
- United Nations (UN, 2001) deemed empowerment as essential, including:
- Sense of self-worth
- Right to have and to determine choices
- Right to access opportunities and resources
- Right and enabled to control one’s own life within and outside the home
- Capacity to contribute to social change and justice locally, nationally, internationally
- Economic determinants, cultural and psychological development, and a sense of empowerment and self-worth—all affect women’s mental health.
MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH!!!
To kick off the Mental Health Awareness Month, SWI, INC’s Director of Mental Health, Dr. Valerie Oji hosted a transnational Ladies Empowerment Group discussion with Mrs. Chioma Uwandu-Mordi, Director of the Impact Her Initiative in Nigeria, West Africa, and her ladies. SWI or Sensible Women Initiative, INC is a U.S. based 501-3(c) nonprofit that provides services to young ladies particularly in the areas of personal development and relationship building. The West African Impact Her Initiative program was started 5 years ago and is dedicated to giving back to their society through women’s economic empowerment. They’ve held numerous symposia to raise awareness, educate and mobilize communities with invited celebrities and key note speakers. This communication exchange promotes mutual awareness, understanding, encouragement and empowerment across the continents.
Common mental health-related issues raised during the discussion as experienced by ladies include –
- Domestic violence, poor self-esteem, depression and anxiety, often tied to lack of income, financial instability, restricted or lack of opportunities for self-determination.
- Changes and conflicts in cultural norms as women struggle with opportunities and choices to work inside and/or outside the home.
- Raising male awareness, conversations and understanding for women’s roles and choices.
- Creating community “safe spaces” and trusted counselors to reach out for assistance
- Meaningful solutions that protect safety and welfare of ladies, their children and families
- Paucity of patrons and microfinancing resources for women-led start-up businesses
- Spiritual assessment and care needs for behavioral health support rather than barriers
- Child abuse – Impact Her Initiative hosted a “Break the Silence and Speak Up” lecture
- Increasing male support – Impact Her Initiative hosted a “Choosing to be a Better Man” symposium to help raise male understanding of what happens when women are subjugated.
Women Empowerment Support Goals and Activities:
- Build capacity for financial independence
- Enhance individual opportunities and choices (e.g. school, employment, business, etc.)
- Explore ways to connect and encourage one another