Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress proclaimed the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”
These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields. We are celebrating the best wat we know how, by highlighting women that have paved the way in mental health.
Melanie Klein (1882-1960)
Klein was a controversial figure in her day she was the first mental health professional to apply the traditional psychoanalysis to children. This methodology flew in
the face of the academic and medical establishment, which at that time considered women to be unreliable.
Leta Stetter Hollingworth (1886-1939)
An American contemporary of Klein, Hollingworth too is known for her diligent work with children—but she also took time out of her busy schedule at Columbia University to challenge the misconception that women were less mentally capable than men, in general.
Karen Horney (1885-1952)
Karen Horney distinguished herself as an advocate for female psychiatry during an era when seeking psychological help (as a man or a woman) was taboo. She encouraged women to lean on one another and to avoid the masochism of a life spent in servitude to men, exclusively. She stressed self-awareness, and in her later life she even wrote a “self-help” book for people considering psychoanalysis.
Uta Frith (1941-present)
Frith’s work has made today’s emerging understanding of dyslexia, autism, and Asperger’s syndrome possible. She is an author, a researcher, and a participant in the Medical Research Council at University College London, as well as an active member of Aarhus University’s Interacting Minds Centre in Denmark.
Learn more about the wonderful women who have shaped mental health, here.