oa South African Health Review - Women's mental health in South Africa : women's health

Volume 2006 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



Mental health is a neglected topic, and that of women's mental health even more so, with the latter receiving little attention within the South African public health sector. This chapter provides a selective, focused overview of women's mental health issues requiring public sector attention in South Africa. It reports global and South African prevalence rates and burden of disease estimates for common mental disorders in women, focusing on depressive and anxiety disorders. Several key factors which impact on the mental health status of South African women are discussed, namely gender disadvantage, poverty, gender violence, HIV and peripartum depression. Policy and programme implications of women's mental health issues are noted, and recommendations for effecting a comprehensive, multi-sectora approach to improving the mental health status of women are outlined.

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