In recent decades, an increasing percentage of women worldwide (and especially in South Asian communities) are pursuing higher education, entering the workforce, and contributing actively to the society at a greater rate than ever before. Nevertheless, certain societal pressures continue to exist, with particularly serious impacts on women's mental health, e.g. pressure to find lifelong partners, conform to expected norms and values set by previous generations, and others, all the while dealing with job- and study-related pressures.
Research has shown that women may be less likely than men to seek treatment after experiencing symptoms of mental illness due to “internalised or self-stigma”. Another strand of research has also shown that this stigma is greater among women from ethnic or racial minorities.
Fortunately, progress is being made to combat such stigma by convincing women on reaching out / seeking treatment and this is more important today than ever before. After all, knowledge is power! Armed with the right information on effective strategies and resources for overcoming mental health challenges, women can be more empowered to reclaim the fulfilling, enjoyable, and purposeful lives they so richly deserve.
We are incredibly proud of our wonderful EMPOWER ExCo Member, Mamta Hotchandani and her video series MindMatters. It focuses on spreading awareness on mental well-being for ethnic minority communities in Hong Kong and has given many women platform to break the silence and stigma surrounding mental health.