Empowering women is essential to reducing poverty and building better economies. When women are mentally healthy, they can contribute to society, achieve financial independence, and accelerate positive change. This month, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite photos of women doing just that.
They are mothers. They are entrepreneurs. They are farmers. They are friends.
Above all, these former StrongMinds therapy participants exemplify the profound impact that depression recovery can have on a woman’s life and livelihood.
Many of the women StrongMinds treats for depression gain a new capacity for creativity and strategic innovation once they've improved their mental health. These benefits can be invaluable for starting or expanding a business. Entrepreneurs must be able to think outside of the box and take calculated risks to succeed in their ventures. By improving women's mental health, many can go on to develop new services and take advantage of emerging market trends so they can, in turn, generate sustainable income for themselves and their families.
Clarity’s friends describe her as kind, creative, and strong. But, two years ago, she overcame debilitating depression with the help of StrongMinds therapy. Today, she runs a successful tailoring business. She says that being free of depression has increased her focus and improved customer interactions, resulting in more income. Her community ties keep her energized, and she is regularly inspired to make new clothing designs to grow her business.
In Mukono District, Uganda, where economic opportunities are limited, women grow various crops and raise livestock to generate reliable sources of income. Restoring their mental health has helped these businesswomen develop the resilience and coping skills they need to navigate agriculture's physical and emotional demands. They can now generate income and contribute to the region's overall economic development.
Now that Given has recovered from depression, she says she has “the courage to overcome any situation that comes [her] way.” After completing StrongMinds therapy, she now runs a small business selling pots alongside her family, enabling her to earn a living and provide for her children. She also volunteers as a StrongMinds peer facilitator in her community in Lusaka, Zambia. She wants to show others with depression that the right support makes recovery possible.
Many Ugandan women, particularly in rural areas, sell vegetables at local markets to support their families. Produce stands provide essential income to cover school fees for children and other expenses. But it can be challenging to cultivate, harvest, and sell produce when you have trouble eating, sleeping, or concentrating on the critical details that make your trade a success. When mental health is a priority, these women can go on to tackle all the hardships and rewards that entrepreneurship has to offer.
When Ester was depressed, she felt constantly fatigued. “I couldn’t do a lot of things. I couldn’t even eat because I was very depressed.” But after enrolling in StrongMinds therapy, life turned around. “I’m able to make my samosas sell, and I’m able to look nice. I’m able to bathe, and I’m also able to take care of my household,” Ester said. “The teachings from the therapy are really embedded in me. I’ve learned a lot of things from StrongMinds. Even when I want to fail to do something, now I pick up because of the strength that I got from the therapy.”
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