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Women’s Mental Health Research Program

Mental illnesses contribute substantially to the global burden of disability, particularly for women. Depression is the leading cause of disability for women world-wide, anxiety disorders rank among the top six, and schizophrenia falls within the top 20.1  Women often experience mental illnesses differently than men—certain symptoms may be more common in women than men, or the course of an illness can be affected by the sex of the individual. Some women may also struggle with mental illness at times of hormone change, such as perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression. NIMH recognizes the importance of supporting basic, translational, clinical, and services research in areas of importance to women’s mental health.
The Women’s Mental Health Program:

  • Coordinates with the NIMH scientific Divisions to promote research on women’s mental health and to encourage the examination of sex and gender differences in NIMH funded research.
  • Works closely with the NIH Office for Research on Women’s Health and other NIH Institutes and Centers to facilitate joint funding opportunities.
  • Serves as a point of contact for topics related to women’s mental health.
  • Serves as a liaison to other federal agencies and external stakeholders on research issues relevant to women’s mental health.

For more information


General public

Program Chief

Tamara Lewis Johnson, MPH, MBA
Women’s Mental Health Research Program
Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-9659


1 Whiteford HA, Ferrari AJ, Degenhardt L, Feigin V & Vos T. (2015). The global burden of mental, neurological and substance use disorders: an analysis from the global burden of disease study 2010. PLoS One 10(2).