One in eight men are affected by a mental health problem.
For women, it's one in five.
At this point, we know that all of us as beings have mental health. But what exactly causes the disparity between men and women? Is it genetics or the environment or social stigma?
Before I present to you my research, let me preface this article by saying that countless of macro and micro factors affect both gender and mental health separately. Examples of these are psychosocial (personality, coping mechanisms), cultural, social, and economic factors.
This one's a little long, but bear with me here – it's important. Here's a brief summary on the gender studies that have been done on mental health:
An example would be childbirth and the process of recovery; which doesn't only include the healing of their physical organs but the healing of their mental state  . Oftentimes, women are prone to postnatal depression, a severe side effect and mental illness that doesn't get talked about enough. Studies  have also shown that it's tedious for women to get professional help for postnatal depression, which affects women's relationships, functional status, and her ability to care for her infant  .
Additionally, women tend to act inward as opposed to men, who tend to act outward. This refers to suppression  women are used to when it comes to emotions, a habit that leads to anxiety disorders – such as panic disorders, OCD, post-traumatic disorders, social phobia, and generalised anxiety disorder. Women are also more likely to develop PTSD after trauma, and are believed to have more persistent symptoms .
Why am I telling you all this, you might wonder.
There is a need to identify and understand these mental illnesses, then work together as a community to increase the accessibility we have to help. We need to normalise the uncomfortable and we need to collectively understand that vulnerability is not a weakness.
A mental illness is as grave as a physical illness – even I myself am having trouble convincing my loved ones the importance of mental wellness.
There's only hope that we can shed more light on what others need to hear, what we can know to change.
Afifi, M. Gender differences in mental health. Singapore Med J 2007;48(5):385-391
 Hawton K, Rodham K, Evans E, Weatherall R. Deliberate self harm in adolescents: self report survey in schools in England. BMJ 2002; 23:1207-11
 Parker G, Roy K. Adolescent depression: a review. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2001;35:572-80
 Rubenstein CS, Pigott TA, L'Heureux F, Hill JL, Murphy DL. A preliminary investigation of the lifetime prevalence of anorexia and bulimia nervosa in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder. J Clinic Psychiatry 1992; 53:309-14
 Nazroo JY. Exploring gender difference in depression. Psychiatric Times 2001; Vol. XVIII, Issue 3.
 McGovern P, Dowd B, Gjerdingen D, et al. Postpartum health of employed mothers 5 weeks after childbirth. Ann Fam Med 2006;4:159-67.
 Gjerdingen DK, Chaloner KM. The relationship of women’s postpartum mental health to employment, childbirth, and social support. J Fam Pract 1994; 38:465-72.
 Logsdon MC, Wisner K, Billings DM, Shanahan B. Raising the awareness of primary care providers about postpartum depression. Issues Ment Health Nurs 2006; 27:59-73.
 Moses-Kolko EL, Roth EK. Antepartum and postpartum depression: healthy mom, healthy baby. J Am Med Women’s Assoc 2004; 59:181-91.
 Goodwin RD, Gotlib IH. Gender differences in depression: the role of personality factors. Psychiatry Res 2004; 126:135-42.
 Robichaud M, Dugas MJ, Conway M. Gender differences in worry and associated cognitive-behavioral variables. J Anxiety Disord 2003; 17:501-16.
 American Medical Association Council on Scientifi c Affairs. Women’s Health: Sex- and Gender-based Differences in Health and Disease (I-00). Available at: www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/13607.html.