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Gender & Mental Health Treatment.html

Gender & Mental Health Treatment

For a variety of reasons, including social stigma and gender role expectations, men are less likely to get treatment for a mental illness. However, it is not always easy for women. Various barriers experienced by women, including stigma, may influence where women seek help and whether they seek it from a health professional, a self-help group, or from another source, such as a member of the clergy. For example, women have been more likely than men to seek help in mental health and primary care settings rather than in substance abuse treatment settings.

Most men and women do well in mixed-gender treatment settings, and for these people, such settings will likely be more cost effective than providing gender-specific treatment. However, some individuals or subgroups (female and male) may benefit in important ways from gender-specific treatment.

Many treatment programs have begun to recognize this and specialize in gender-specific treatment. These programs offer gender-specific or gender-sensitive services, such as gender matching with counselors, mixed-gender treatment groups led by male and female coleaders, gender-specific treatment groups, and gender-specific treatment content. Many programs also provide ancillary or wraparound services, such as childcare and parenting groups, which facilitate women’s treatment entry and continuation. In addition, significant numbers of treatment programs serve women only; target pregnant women or adolescent girls; or offer specialized parenting services for women and their children.

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