Women and Mental Health

Did you know 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime? 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month – a time to speak up about mental health being just as important as physical health and encouraging those who may suffer to speak out and share how they are feeling. Everyone is affected or impacted by mental illness through friends and family. 

Maia Betts, LCSW-R, the Director of Mental Health at Whitney Young Health spoke about Women and Mental Health at recent Capital Region Chamber’s Women’s Business Council event. Maia discussed how WYH is taking measures to ensure our female patients are receiving the helpful mental health care they need. 

“Whitney Young Health offers integrated healthcare to address patients’ behavioral health and physical health care needs. Over the past two years the medical and behavioral health departments have collaborated to implement evidenced based strategies to provide whole person healthcare.  This innovative approach to integrated healthcare reduces preventable hospital visits, overall healthcare costs and leads to greater patient satisfaction.  At Whitney Young Health, behavioral health services are co-located with primary care are at all health centers. 


Maia Betts, LCSW-R talking about Women and Mental Health at recent Women’s Business Council event

Integrated care at Whitney Young Health means that patients are screened for depression during their medical visits, along with risk for alcohol/drug/tobacco use.  Depression in adults can lead to significant physical health problems, particularly if untreated. One in eight women can experience some form of depression during their lifetime and occurs in different stages in a woman’s life from pregnancy to menopause and beyond. 

Additionally, women experience depression about twice the rate of men.  Yet, it is not a “normal” part of being a woman.  Less than half of women seek treatment because they feel ashamed to discuss their depression. And, evidence suggests that women are more prone to experience anxiety and physical health complaints related to their depression. 

A model of integrated healthcare leads to a decreased rate of depression amongst its patients and lower health care costs. Moving fragmented care to integrated care treats the whole person – mind and body.”

Stay tuned for more mental health issues and treatment options discussed from various WYH providers this month,