Mental health has gained significant recognition and importance as a crucial aspect of overall well-being. An individual's mental health is influenced by the intersection of individual, social, cultural, and systematic sources of stress and resilience. It is important to include subjective conceptualizations of mental health and well-being to develop culturally sensitive approaches to mental health promotion. This qualitative study aimed to understand how urban-dwelling women living in Pakistan who are micro-finance loan recipients conceptualize the meaning of mental health. Using interpretive description methodology, data were collected and analyzed through in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted in Urdu with a purposeful sample of 32 women. An inductive approach to content analysis was employed to code and categorize the data. Participants conceptualized mental health as the presence of peace and the absence of tension. Chronic sources of tension included a lack of essential resources, safety, and security in their day-to-day living in Karachi, Pakistan. Implementing policies to address women’s basic needs, including access to education, would be a helpful first step towards mental health promotion for Pakistani women. Integrating concepts that reflect women’s understanding of mental health will also be a useful first step in developing culturally sensitive mental health assessment tools.
women, mental health, perception, interpretive description, qualitative research, Pakistan
Thank you to all the participants for their contributions to this study. We greatly appreciate their resilience, positive attitude, and willingness to share their stories. Without their involvement, this study would not have been possible.
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Recommended APA Citation
Madhani, F. I., Tompkins, C., Jack, S., & Byrne, C. (2023). Perceptions of Mental Health among Pakistani Women with Micro-Finance Loans: An Interpretive Descriptive Study. The Qualitative Report, 28(8), 2401-2420. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2023.6198