As we celebrate Women’s History Month this March, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges that women face in terms of their mental health.
Women’s mental health is an issue that needs to be talked about more openly and addressed with more care. Societal expectations, gender discrimination, and various forms of violence against women, including sexual assault and domestic violence, can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Women generally react very differently to men in such circumstances, and that’s why it’s crucial to have an honest conversation about women’s mental health and find ways to support and empower women in addressing these challenges.
Why is Women’s Mental Health Important?
Mental health issues affect everyone, but women are three times more likely than men to experience common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, self harm and suicidal ideation.
This is partly due to the social and economic factors that disproportionately affect women, such as gender discrimination, gender-based violence, and poverty. Women are also more likely to experience some types of traumas, such as sexual and physical assault and repeated domestic violence, which can lead to mental health problems.
There is still a stigma surrounding mental health that prevents many women from seeking help. By paying attention to women’s mental health, increasing mental health awareness and normalising conversation about mental health and wellness, we can break down these barriers and ensure that all women have access to the information, support and care they need.
What Are Signs of Mental Ill health in Women?
Mental ill health can manifest in many different ways, but there are some common signs and symptoms that women should look out for.
Signs of potential mental ill health in women are:
- Changes in mood: Women with poor or deteriorating mental health may experience sudden and extreme changes in their mood, such as feeling sad or irritable for no apparent reason.
- Changes in behaviour: They may also exhibit changes in their behaviour, such as withdrawing from friends and family, engaging in risky behaviours, or neglecting personal hygiene.
- Physical symptoms: Some mental health conditions can also cause physical symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, and stomach problems.
- Difficulty coping with daily life: They may find it difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as going to work or caring for their families.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional.
How We Can Increase Mental Health Awareness Among Women?
Here are some ways we can do this:
- Encourage open conversation: By talking openly about mental health, we can reduce the stigma surrounding it and encourage women to seek help when they need it.
- Educate women about mental health: Providing women with information about mental health and how to recognize the signs of mental ill health can help them identify problems early and seek treatment. If you want to learn more about a couple of the most common mental health challenges, we recommend starting with our Understanding Depression and Understanding Anxiety courses.
- Increase access to mental health services: Governments and healthcare providers should work to make mental health services more accessible and affordable for all women.
- Advocate for policy change: We need to advocate for policies that address the root causes of mental illness in women, such as gender discrimination and poverty.
What Can You Do To Support Women’s Mental Health?
This Women’s History Month, let’s start the conversation and raise awareness of women’s mental health. By doing so, we can ensure that all women have access to the care they need and reduce the stigma surrounding mental ill health. Let’s work together to support women’s mental health and create a world where everyone can thrive.