Improving Women's Mental Health During a Pandemic
Tabassum Rahman (),
Asad Islam () and
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Tabassum Rahman: School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle
Munich Papers in Political Economy from Munich School of Politics and Public Policy and the School of Management at the Technical University of Munich
In low-income settings, women are vulnerable to the psychological distress caused by the social and economic impact of epidemics and other large-scale shocks. This paper evaluates a randomized telecounseling intervention aimed at mitigating the mental health impact of COVID-19 on a sample of 2,402 women across 357 villages in Bangladesh. We find that the provision of mental support to participating women improves their mental health leading to reductions of 26% in the prevalence of moderate and severe stress and 60% in depression relative to women in the control group. We also find improvements in household food security and time invested in children. Finally, we examine the impact of the intervention on a range of other outcomes and attitudes: subjective well-being, preventive health behavior, and women's empowerment and find significant advances throughout. Our results suggest that this type of low-cost intervention can be effective in providing rapid psychological support to vulnerable groups in times of crises.
Keywords: Mental health; COVID-19; food security; telecounseling; randomized experiment; women empowerment; rural Bangladesh. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I12 I18 I31 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 79 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
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https://cms.mgt.tum.de/fileadmin/mgt.tum.de/facult ... tal_health_paper.pdf
Working Paper: Improving Women's Mental Health during a Pandemic (2021)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aiw:wpaper:11
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