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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Women’s Mental Health Research Program


Mental illnesses contribute substantially to the global burden of disability, particularly for women. Depression and anxiety are among the leading causes of disability for women worldwide.

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 and the Women’s Mental Health Team recognize the importance of supporting basic, translational, clinical, and services research to enhance women’s mental health.

The purpose of the Women’s Mental Health Team is to:

  • Advance NIMH-sponsored discovery science and research training in the areas of psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience to better understand and treat mental disorders
  • Promote the emotional well-being of women throughout the lifespan, with a particular focus on sex and gender-related research that explores the pivotal life stages for brain health, such as birth, puberty, pregnancy, reproductive years, menopause, and aging

Priority areas

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 Office for Research on Women’s Health  and other National Institutes of Health (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

Funding opportunities and initiatives that support women’s mental health research

Additional resources

Program director

Tamara Lewis Johnson, M.P.H., MBA
Women’s Mental Health Research Program
Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity