Women may experience unique mental and behavioral health challenges related to sexual function, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth or menopause.

At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical in Columbus, Ohio, we understand that mental health issues and conditions related to these events require specialized care. Our Women’s Behavioral Health program is a center of excellence providing care to women experiencing stress or stress-related conditions related to life events that are unique to women.

Women’s Behavioral Health team members know how important mental, reproductive and sexual health are for women and their well-being. Our mission in Women’s Behavioral Health is three-fold: to provide innovative behavioral health care for women, to conduct clinical research that will improve the safety and effectiveness of treatments and train future generations of clinicians to provide this important care.

What is women’s mental health care, and why is it important?

Women’s mental health care involves assessing and meeting the needs of women, woman-identifying patients and their families. Many mental health disorders, such as depression, are more commonly diagnosed in women while others are unique to women, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) or postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety.

In fact, more than 20% of women in the United States have experienced a mental health condition in the last year and 15% of women will experience a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, underscoring the importance of women’s wellness initiatives, programs and research.

The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is a national leader in Women’s Behavioral Health helping women with their mental and behavioral health across their life span, whether that’s working through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from sexual abuse, coping with infertility or pregnancy loss, or managing changes that occur during menopause.

Women’s mental health conditions treated at Ohio State

Our Women’s Behavioral Health program is a multidisciplinary center of excellence providing mental health care for various mood and anxiety disorders. We also treat women experiencing stress or stress-related illness during life events.

Women’s sexual health

Our dedicated Women’s Intimacy and Sexual Health program treats these conditions and concerns:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Coping with sexual changes from gynecologic or breast cancer treatments
  • Trauma or PTSD from sexual abuse or violence
  • Sexual health issues related to psychiatric medications
  • Other emotional and behavioral concerns with sexual function

Maternal-fetal behavioral health

We specialize in identifying and treating mental health concerns during the prenatal, pregnancy and postpartum periods. These conditions and issues include:

  • Family planning
  • Infertility and the use of assisted reproductive services like in vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Miscarriages and pregnancy loss
  • Mental health during pregnancy, including prevention of postpartum conditions
  • Postpartum depression or anxiety

Well-being across the reproductive lifecycle

In addition to pregnancy-related concerns, we offer expertise in emotional, reproductive and sexual health needs throughout your lifetime, including:

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Menopause and mental health changes
  • Psychiatric medication interaction with other medications, including birth control pills and hormone therapy

There are many other reasons you might benefit from working with our Women’s Behavioral Health specialists, but these are some of the most common issues we see. Our comprehensive treatment plans are always individually tailored and often include a combination of medication and psychotherapy. We always strive for the best outcomes.

Why should I choose the Women’s Behavioral Health program?

The dedicated Women’s Behavioral Health program at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, with experts who have made it their life’s work to help women through these unique mental health challenges is specially equipped to get you feeling like yourself and enjoying life.

Some other benefits to being treated here include:

Woman In a Therapy Session

Specialized care for women’s wellness

Our mental and behavioral health experts are formally trained in how to treat women who struggle with these mental health conditions related to the reproductive cycle and other life challenges.

Pregnant Woman Speaking to a Doctor

Collaborative care across many disciplines

As an academic medical center, we’re able to offer expert care across many specialties beyond the scope of the Women’s Behavioral Health program. For example, if you also need gynecological treatment for sexual health or an obstetrician who understands perinatal mental health concerns, our Women’s Behavioral Health experts collaborate with these doctors at Ohio State’s Center for Women’s Health.

Mother kissing her baby

Continual innovation in the most-advanced treatments

We combine clinical care with research to provide women access to the latest information about the safest, most effective treatments while they go through these periods of greatest vulnerability. We also serve as a training center for residents and fellows, medical students and other graduate students interested in the unique behavioral health needs of women.

a couple smiling and embracing

A national leader in women’s behavioral health

Our Women’s Behavioral Health practice is one of only a few in the country that focuses on women’s emotional, behavioral and cognitive concerns, especially as they relate to their reproductive life cycles and health. Women’s mental health needs matter and deserve this specialized attention.

Our Team


Lisa Christian, PhD

  • Clinical Health Psychologist
    Director of the Stress, Behavioral Immunology and Health Disparities Lab

Claire Postl, LPCC

  • Licensed Professional Counselor

Tonya Schauder, LISW

  • Social Worker
    Psychiatric Counselor

Morgan Stitzlein, LISW-S


Nichole Storey, MS

  • Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

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