Women and charities are interrelated. Based on a study by Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the University of Indiana, women are as much as 40% likely to donate than men. (TIME, Newcomb, 2011) Women are sympathetic. Therefore, they tend to donate to the organizations they feel strongly about. One of the main organizations is the mental health organization created by women. WISH is a mental health charity founded in 1987 in the UK. They provide services to women at prisons or hospitals and help them come back into the community. The stigma about women getting sick and becoming mentally ill is an issue. More mental health conference are held, one of them is lead by International Association for Women’s Mental Health.
Imagine the pain and rejection these women have to endure. There is the ridicule and mocking from their peers regarding their disability. What if you have a friend or a family that is mentally ill? There must be a support system in the society. It may be through either support groups, psychiatrists, counselors, family or close friends. There is not much awareness and information raised about mental health in Indonesia. We rarely see people with mental health issues being embraced and accepted in society. There is a harsh sentiment around this issue and they treat mental illness as if it is a disease. That is why there is a need for more compassionate and sensitive people to care for these people.
Another scenario is when a teenage girl undergoes depression. Who can understand what she is feeling? Many of these girls feel like there is no end to this black cloud and they cannot seem to get out of it. Talking to the counselors may help but they are just there to advise you. It is up to you to make the decision to get better. The counselors are not there 24/7. Young girls grow to become teenagers and teenagers become adult who will soon become mothers. Indonesia should understand how important mental health is and create centers for women who need support and encouragement when they are mentally ill. Is it not important to have a stable woman in the family (as they are mothers whom which children look to)? Would they not lead better and meaningful lives? It is an issue that is still sensitive. More people should take the stand and contribute to the growing sector of the mentally ill women.
(This article was published in Student Globe in 2013)
Student Globe is Jakarta Globe’s sister company.