Lecture event sheds light on the impact of gender on mental health disorders

November 2015

In late October, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) hosted a special lecture event that brought together physicians, trainees, staff and volunteers to learn more about women’s mental health.

Dr. Paula Rochon, vice-president of research at WCH, opened the event with a welcome and special thank you to Mrs. Ruth DeWinter, who sponsored the lecture in memory of her husband, Mr. Paul DeWinter. WCH psychiatrist and scientist Dr. Simone Vigod introduced the speaker, Dr. Peggy Richter, who is the head of the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre and director of the Clinic for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) & Related Disorders at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Dr. Richter presented on the topic of OCD and related disorders, a debilitating group of disorders that commonly co-occur with depression and anxiety. She provided an overview of these disorders and also highlighted gender differences and their implications. One of her take away messages was that there is an important need for more research in the area to better understand the role of gender in OCD and related disorders and how therapies and early interventions can be tailored to men and women.

“Dr. Richter’s expertise and the generosity of Mrs. DeWinter brought us together to learn about women’s mental health, which is an important priority for us here at WCH,” said Dr. Rochon. “I think that through educational events like these, we can come closer to closing gaps in mental health care, research and treatment for women.”

For more information about WCH’s Women’s Mental Health Program, click here.

To learn more about the mental health research conducted at Women’s College Research Institute, click here.

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