By Fore, Janet S.
Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources , Vol. 32, No. 2
Dora Kohen, ed., OXFORD TEXTBOOK OF WOMEN AND MENTAL HEALTH. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. (Oxford rexrbooks in psychiatry.) 352p. index. $139.50, ISBN 978-0199214365.
Editor Dora Kohen, who died before this volume was published, and to whom it is dedicated, aimed to increase understanding of the gender impact of mental health services and move public policy toward more effective and individualized mental health care and treatment. The Oxford Textbook of Women and Mental Health addresses a wide range of issues and psychiatric conditions that afreet the mental health and well-being of women. The contributors make the case that mental health must be viewed more broadly than just as diseases and treatment, and that although women's and mens mental health are interconnected, some aspects of women's lives affect their mental health uniquely. John Cox's foreword sets this tone, calling on readers to consider the social, cultural, relational, and personal aspects of women's mental health.
The scholarly chapters are uniformly brief: eight to twelve pages each, with two to four pages of references. The scope is wide-ranging and includes theory, case history, and public policy. An index at the end provides subject keyword access. Much of the epidemiological data is cited from United Nations or World Health Organization sources, giving the book an international direction. However, of the fifty-six authors, forty-two are from the U.K., and most of the legislative and public-health policy information reflects the British authors experience. Readers in the U.S. should not be put off by the British context, however, since the issues and discussions bridge national boundaries. …