Addressing Depression among Women through Action on the Social Determinants of Health in Pakistan: A Literature Review

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Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (Masters)
Date created: 

Depressive disorders constitute a substantial proportion of the global disease burden. These disorders are a major public health concern for both developed and developing countries, with particularly high prevalence observed in Pakistan, especially among women. Despite recognition of the social determinants (SDH) of depression to address mental health globally, Pakistan is lagging behind with poorly implemented mental health policies. This literature review examines the association of the SDH and depression among women in Pakistan. This review confirms a high prevalence of depression among women linked to SDH including poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, lack of social support and housing, inadequate health care access and poor mental health facilities with stigma attached to mental disorders. The findings also reveal a need for a comprehensive mental health policy to integrate mental health services into primary health care and to target mental health care towards underprivileged and marginalised women.  A key component of an integrated approach to address the SDH associated with the growing burden of depression amongst women in Pakistan is a focus on mental health literacy among underprivileged and marginalized women.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Copyright remains with the author.
Malcolm Steinberg
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences