On March 8, CMHA Niagara joins individuals and organizations around the world in celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD), an annual event held to mark the social, economic and political achievements of women.

The theme of IWD this year is Be Bold For Change, which highlights how everyone can be a leader by taking actions every day to support gender parity.

CMHA recognizes that social determinants of health such as income, education and employment status have been found to put women at greater risk of poor mental health than men. CMHA Niagara offers a three to six month transitional housing support program for females (age 18 or older) living with mental illness and/or addiction.

In Ontario, women are twice as likely to have depression than men, and are at greater risk of mood and anxiety disorders. Research has also shown that as many as two thirds of women with substance misuse problems may have a concurrent mental health problem, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder or an eating disorder.

Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the campaign by sharing their actions for gender parity on social media with the hashtag #BeBoldForChange. For ideas on effective actions, visit the International Women’s Day website.