On Wednesday, November 5th the Atlanta Women’s Foundation gathered and hosted their greatest fundraiser of the year with a purpose as always. The purpose was contributing to the resolution of breaking the cycle of generational poverty among women and girls. This cycle is very real and we must feed solutions to this every day. Unfortunately, there is no quick or permanent solution yet.
Jane Pauley, former Today Show Host, was a dynamic key speaker. She captivated some of Atlanta’s most powerful and influential women. The room was enlightened with the reality of 81,000 girls and 320,000 women and girls live in poverty in the five-county metro area. Simply, stated these numbers are way too big to ignore. Way too big. Then take in that women living in poverty are twice as likely to suffer from mental illness. Jane even shared journey of turning 50 and being diagnosed with biopolar disorder and being blessed to afford the necessary and proper care. Let us look at some facts.
• $98.00 is the amount it costs for a woman in poverty to get a mental health screening when they are making less than $20,000.
• In 2013, a Georgia study of the Atlanta Metro area (DeKalb and Fulton Counties) found, of the women identified with mental health disorders, 19.4% made less than $20,000 annually.
• One of the most consistently replicated findings in social science research has been the relationship between health and socioeconomic status and mental illness.
• Women in poverty experience stress, grief, and depression without the resources or networks in place to support their mental health needs.
• Women living in poverty are twice as likely to suffer from mental illness than women not living in poverty.