Women Outreach
Take your heels off and relax, let your guard down you are not made of steel.


Women and Mental Health


Mental disorders can affect women and men differently. Some disorders are more common in women such as depression and anxiety. There are also certain types of disorders that are unique to women. For example, some women may experience symptoms of mental disorders at times of hormone change, such as perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression. When it comes to other mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, research has not found differences in the rates at which men and women experience these illnesses. But women may experience these illnesses differently – certain symptoms may be more common in women than in men, and the course of the illness can be affected by the sex of the individual. Researchers are only now beginning to tease apart the various biological and psychosocial factors that may impact the mental health of both women and men.

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Learn more about taking care of your mental health.

Warning Signs

Women and men can develop most of the same mental disorders and conditions, but may experience different symptoms. Some symptoms include:

  • Persistent sadness or feelings of hopelessness
  • Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Excessive fear or worry
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Extremely high and low moods
  • Aches, headaches, or digestive problems without a clear cause
  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Suicidal thoughts

Mental disorders can be treated: If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your family doctor or visit NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage. Communicating well with your health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health. Read about tips to help prepare and get the most out of your visit. For additional resources, including questions to ask your health care provider, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

If you or someone you know is in a crisis, get help immediately. You can call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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Office on Violence Against Women http://www.usdoj.gov/ovw National Domestic Violence Hotline http://www.ndvh.org Exit Disclaimer
National Women’s Health Information Center http://www.womenshealth.gov





National Clearinghouse for Families and Youth

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Mental illnesses affect women and men differently — some disorders are more common in women, and some express themselves with different symptoms. Scientists are only now beginning to tease apart the contributions of various biological and psychosocial factors to mental health and mental illness in both women and men. In addition, researchers are currently studying the special problems of treatment for serious mental illness during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

The mental disorders affecting women include the following:

Reprinted From NIMH


Safety Tips for Stalking Victims

(FROM https://www.womenslaw.org/about-abuse/safety-tips/safety-tips-stalking-victims)


This page contains some suggestions on how to keep yourself safe if you are being stalked or harassed.  A stalker can be someone with whom you are/were in a relationship or it can be a co-worker, acquaintance or anyone else.  These are general suggestions that may not be appropriate in every situation – please pick and choose the ones that seem relevant to your situation.  Following these suggestions can’t guarantee your safety, but it could help make you safer.

General safety strategies Safety at home Safety at work and school Legal options / documenting the stalker’s activities

General safety strategies:

  • Stop all contact and communication with the person stalking or harassing you but keep any evidence of the stalking (such as voicemails, texts, emails, etc.,) for future court cases or criminal actions.  Responding to the stalker’s actions may reinforce and/or encourage his/her behavior.
  • Carry a cell phone with you.  Keep handy or memorize emergency phone numbers that you can use in case of an emergency.  If you ever feel you are in immediate danger, call 911.  You may also be eligible for a free phone with free minutes from a phone company such as the Assurance Wireless Program, sponsored by Virgin Mobile (WomensLaw is not affiliated with this program).
  • Trust your instincts.  If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, you may want to reach out for help, even if nothing immediately dangerous is happening.
  • Have a safe place in mind to go to in an emergency.  You might go to a police station, place of worship, public area, the home of a family member or friend (unknown to the stalker), or a domestic violence shelter.  If someone is following you, it is generally not a good idea to go home.
  • Try not to travel alone.  If you run or walk for exercise, you might want to get an exercise buddy to go with you.  Always try to vary your routes to and from work or school, the grocery store, and any other places regularly visited.  By changing your daily routes, it could make it more difficult for someone to learn your routine – however, also be aware that a stalker may put a GPS monitoring device on your car or cell phone.  One hint that a GPS device may be installed is if you are varying your routes or going to unexpected places but the stalker still seems to find you.
  • Be aware of how much identifying information you are posting on the Internet through social networking sites and online purchases.  You may want to select the highest security settings on any social networking accounts and think carefully before giving out your personal information through online purchases.  To read more, go to our Safety with Social Media page.
  • Alert the three credit bureaus and ask to have a fraud alert put on your credit reports: Experian (888) 397-3742, Equifax(888) 766-0008, and TransUnion (877) 322-8228.   A stalker may try to obtain your Social Security number and/or mother’s maiden name to use this information to obtain your credit information.  Putting an alert on your credit could help to prevent this and possible fraudulent activity and/or identity theft.  For more information on fraud alerts, you can go to What is a fraud alert and should I get one? on WomensLaw.org’s Financial Abuse page.

Information adapted, in part, from SafeHorizon.org and, in part, from PrivacyRights.org.

Safety at home:

  • Alert your friends, neighbors, and building personnel (if you live in an apartment or work in an office building) about your situation.  Give them as much information as you can about the stalker, including a photograph of him/her, and a description of any vehicles s/he may drive.  Ask them to notify you or call the police if they see the stalker at your house.
  • Keep your address confidential whenever possible.  If the stalker does not know your current address, you may want to register for your state’s address confidentiality program, which will allow you to use an alternate address for public records (such as the DMV, Board of Elections, etc.).   When giving a mailing address for bills, magazines, and shipments, consider using a post office box or an address unknown to the stalker (such as a relative of yours).  Not using your actual address whenever possible could make it harder for a potential stalker to find you on the Internet.  You may even want to get the post office box at least two zip codes away from your home and use it on all correspondence and even your checks.  You can learn more about how to set up a P.O. box.
  • Tell friends and neighbors not to give your address or phone number to anyone.  Explain that they should not even give information to someone posing as a delivery person or mail carrier even if this person says s/he has a package for you – this could be the stalker.
  • If you live in an apartment, don’t put your name on the list of tenants on the front of your apartment building.  Use a variation of your name that only your friends and family would recognize.
  • Identify escape routes out of your house.  Plan different routes in case the stalker is in front of your home, in the backyard, or if s/he enters the home.
  • Pack a bag with important items you’d need if you had to leave quickly, such as a reserve set of credit cards, identification, money, medication, important papers, keys, and other valuables.  Put the bag in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative you trust.  Consider, too, putting together a separate bag that includes the stalking log, a camera, information about the offender, etc., that you can easily grab if you have to leave the house in a hurry.
  • Install solid core doors with dead bolts at your house or apartment (solid core doors are sturdier than hollow doors).  If all of your sets of keys cannot be accounted for, you may want to change the locks (and secure the spare keys) in case the stalker managed to get a set of your keys.  If you are being stalked by a person who lives with you, check with a lawyer before changing your locks.  Fix any broken windows or doors and consider getting an alarm system put in that will signal the police if the alarm is triggered.  Note: If you rent your apartment/house, you may have to get the landlord’s approval before making changing the locks, putting in an alarm, etc.
  • Get a new, unlisted phone number and/or block your phone number. If you are getting unwanted phone calls, you may want to change your phone number and keep it unlisted.  For additional safety, you may also want to ask the phone company to block your number so it won’t show up on calls you make.  Please be aware that blocking is not 100% effective and programming glitches can sometimes mistakenly reveal blocked numbers.

Information adapted, in part, from PrivacyRights.org.

Safety at work and school:

  • Tell co-workers, schoolmates and on-site security staff enough about your situation so that they can help keep your information private and help keep you safe.  Give them as much information that you are comfortable sharing about the stalker, including a photograph of him/her, and a description of any vehicles s/he may drive.  Ask them to notify you or call the police if they see him/her. If you are worried that by alerting people at your workplace about the stalking may put you in danger of being fired or may affect how your supervisor treats you, you may want to first check with a lawyer to see if your state has any laws that protect victims of domestic violence/stalking from discrimination in the workplace.  Go to our Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.
  • Tell co-workers and schoolmates not to give out any information about you to anyone.  Ask the school administrator or the office staff at your job to make a notation in your file so that this is clear to any new staff members who have access to your personnel files.
  • If you have a car, always park in a well-lit area.  Ask a security guard at work or school to walk you to your car or, if you are taking public transportation at a nearby location, perhaps the security guard may even walk you to the nearest bus/subway/train station.

Legal options / documenting the stalker’s activities:

  • For many people, reporting all incidents and threats to the police immediately is an important part of staying safe.  (However, for some people, such as undocumented immigrants living in a county where the police may report them to Immigration, this may not be a safe alternative.)  When making reports to the police, keep a note of the name of the officer in charge of the case and the crime reference number, if applicable.  You can also ask for a copy of the police report that is filed.
  • Create a stalking log, which records the date and time of each incident as the incidents occur, what the stalker did or said, what actions, if any, you took and who was present.  Ask witnesses to write down what they saw and get the witnesses’ contact information (name and phone number) in case you need the police or prosecutor to later talk to the witness.  The Stalking Resource Center has a sample stalking incident log that you can print out as a guide.
  • Save evidence of stalking and online harassment.  Keep all voicemails, text and email messages sent by the stalker.  You can get hard copies of text messages by forwarding them to an email address and printing them out or you may be able to take a screenshot of the text or email.  If you cannot take screenshots on your phone (if you don’t have a “smart phone”), another option may be to take actual photos or videos of the cell phone screen with the text message on it.  If you don’t have a camera, you could take the phone to the police and ask them to photograph the text messages or document them in another way.  Some people may be inclined to try to show the messages to the judge on the actual phone but this may mean that the phone itself may be taken into evidence and kept during the court proceedings, thereby taking the phone away from you.
  • Consider getting a protective order against the person stalking you.  Most states allow you to apply for a protective order based on stalking if the stalker is an intimate partner.  Some states allow you to apply for a protective order based on stalking even if the stalker is not an intimate partner.  Enter your state in the drop-down menu of our Restraining Orders page to see what types of protective orders are available in your state.  If you do get a protective order, carry a copy of it with you at all times.  However, please remember even restraining orders do not always prevent stalking from escalating into violence.  Continue planning for your safety in other ways as well.  Go to our Advocates and Shelters page to find an advocate who can think through safety planning with you.

1. Everyone has experienced failure.Even the people we look up to have had bad days, and even years. Someone said it depends on how we carry the load, and fret not because He will be always with us.

“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)

2. He is the answer that will never leave. When everyone else leaves, be assured that God will never abandon us in this life. He won’t reject us for the mistakes and ugly mess we made, but He will be the source of our strength in getting up and pursuing our dreams. “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24 (NIV)

3. We are forgiven without condemnation.

In the name of God and Jesus Christ, we are forgiven for our shortcomings. He knows we are not perfect and is ready to hear our confessions. With His love, we have to forgive ourselves. Although there is fear of condemnation, remember that you belong to Him. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NIV) 4. All we need is God’s grace.

The Lord works within our weakness, that’s why we should embrace human limitations. With His grace, weakness is turned to strength and we can overcome these failures by claiming victory in His glory.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)

5. With the Lord, we are strong.

He is our strength. The strongest power we can have is keeping God in our hearts and minds in doing all things He wants for us. Failures are nothing compared to Him.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 (NIV)

6. His mercy blooms anew every morning for His love never dies.

We are often our worst enemies. We tend to give ourselves the ultimatum, but God never does. His love has no endings and his mercy keeps on blooming fresh every waking day. Be faithful, including to yourself.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

7. Past is past.

Cliche it is, but true, we shall put it behind and start anew. Jesus Christ is calling us to His arms, to the beautiful future this life is holding. Don’t punish yourself by always looking and staring back on the things that can never be changed. Trust Him and together, life will be all better. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

Be Blessed, Pastor Alnicia Gibson Blessed2begiftedministries


WEAKNESS Please understand that depression is not a sign of weakness nor is it a result of demonic oppression. The fact is many of us are living with a variety of stressors which can either add to or cause feelings of sadness or depression. Take a minute and think about some of the experiences that you have had in your life or are currently facing. Raising children alone, working more than one job, ongoing financial concerns, lay offs, violence and family concerns, the list can go on and on. So give your self and people around you some credit for the things that they have been through and are going through. Listen even the best long distance marathon runner gets tired sometimes. You are not a weak person but you are not the energizer bunny either. Understand that we can’t continue to release our energy and our time without experiencing some consequences. There are many of us because of our upbringing or other issues, have learned to hold our feelings inside of ourselves. We try to stay away from our feelings and present a detached, calm attitude, when inside we are hurting. However, an attitude that causes us to surpress our negative feelings and emotions may only hurt us or our loved ones in the end. God wants us to come to him, in fact he encourages us to bring our concerns to him so that he can give us rest. You don’t have to cope with your feelings or problems alone. If you cannot find anyone to talk to, remember God is just a prayer away, and as you seek him for help he will place people, situations, and events in your life to help you make it through the situation that you are currently facing. When we are feeling sad or depressed our thoughts can either become a source of support or a source of distress. FEELINGS

We can’t hide from our feelings. Feelings have a way of seeping into our lives either in a positive or negative manner even when we are not expecting them. For example, negative feelings can manifest themselves in negative behaviors such as drug abuse, and other unhelpful coping behaviors causing us even more problems and negative emotions. Negative thoughts fuel negative feelings, and negative feelings influence our behavior. In summary, all three of these factors: feelings, thoughts, and behaviors work together to either strengthen or weaken us. Submit your feelings, thoughts and behaviors to God and let Him work all things out for you.
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