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Notes from the Webinar on 'Gender and Mental Health in Bihar and India: Developing tools for effective measurement'

Blog Post2 min read

r.i.c.e, in collaboration with the International Growth Centre (IGC), organised a webinar titled "Gender and Mental Health in Bihar and India: Developing tools for effective measurement".  The webinar covered recent research on mental health along various dimensions, including the measurement of mental health through the use of phone surveys, the prevalence of poor mental health among marginalized groups, mental distress due to discrimination and exclusion in higher education, and the mental health consequences of gender discrimination in the home.

Here is the list of topics covered, links to speakers' presentation and papers for those interested in exploring the issue.

Diane Coffey: Diane’s presentation was titled “Measurement of population mental health: Evidence from a mobile phone survey”. She discussed the feasibility of measuring mental health in population-based mobile phone surveys and which questions are best suited to the phone survey medium. Slides from her presentation can be accessed here. You can read the full paper here.

Aashish Gupta: Aashish’s presentation was titled “Caste, religion, and mental health in India”. His research presents population-level evidence that Dalits and Muslims have worse mental health in India. His findings point towards the need for stronger stances against discrimination and violence. Slides from the presentation can be accessed here. Read the full paper here.

Payal Hathi: Payal’s presentation was titled “When women eat last: Discrimination at home and women’s mental health”. Her research finds that gender discrimination in the form of women eating after men is correlated with worse mental health. She shows that while autonomy may mediate the relationship between gender discrimination and mental health, some measures of autonomy may be better able to capture this. Slides from her presentation can be accessed here.  Read the full paper here.

Amit Thorat: Amit’s presentation was titled “Discrimination and stress in higher education in India”. His research talks about how identity and stigmatization play out in higher education in India. Slides from his presentation can be found here.

Bhargavi Davar: Bhargavi’s presentation was titled “Gender and Policy: Mental Health Policy or Development Policy?”. She addressed the need for shifting of policy gestalts from the “medical model” to “social model” and her reflections on how that shift can be brought about. Slides from her presentation can be found here. Read more about her work here.

Amita Dhanada: Amita shared her views on the National Mental Health Act- its inadequacies and how those can be resolved. Read more about her work here

Read more about r.i.c.e's research on mental health:

-Using mobile phone surveys to measure levels, trends, and disparities in mental health (Working Paper, Policy Brief)

-When women eat last: Discrimination at home and women's mental health  (Working paper, Policy Brief)


r.i.c.e. is a non-profit research organization focused on health and well-being in India. Our core focus is on children in rural north India. Our research studies health care at the start of life, sanitation, air pollution, maternal health, social inequality, and other dimensions of population-level social wellbeing.

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