Women’s Mental Health

inline-icon-clock 2 MIN READ 09/05/22
ESG

Hannah Greaves Group Underwriting Manager
09/05/22
ESG
inline-icon-clock 2 MIN READ
Hannah Greaves Group Underwriting Manager

Women’s Mental Health

Even briefly researching women’s mental health can reveal some eye-opening statistics, with one in five experiencing a mental disorder such as anxiety, depression or self-harm*. Another aspect of this, which also becomes readily apparent is the link between these and socioeconomic factors that put women at greater risk of poor mental health than men*.

These vary but can include things such as: responsibilities related to care (both for children and other relatives), struggling to manage several roles within their lives such as daughter, partner /wife and mother, as well as running a household and holding down a job. Further exacerbating factors include disadvantages due to women earning lower wages than men, being underrepresented in higher income jobs, their concerns about safety and of course, sadly, the fear of sexual and physical abuse. All of which can and are having a devastating impact on womens’ mental health.

The more I delved into these issues, the more this resonated with me and many of the women I know, with one theme in particular becoming inescapable: the pressure to be perfect. Studies repeatedly highlight that woman are far more likely to feel this pressure, which often leads to them being overly self-critical, which can lead to anxiety, depression and eating disorders.  Of course, the world of social media plays a huge part in this, but it doesn’t stop there.

The role of women has changed significantly over the last 50 years and while this has overwhelmingly been a positive thing, it has increased the number of areas we feel we the need to excel in order to be the perfect woman. How we look, how we manage our friendships and relationships, how we obtain and manage the perfect home, the constant pressure to be in a relationship and have children and of course how we conduct ourselves within the workplace. The good news is that, as these experiences are common among many women, there is plenty of help available, with many mental health service providers tailoring their support to meet the specific needs of women. There is further optimism in the fact that positive changes continue to occur in the way society views, understands and treats women.

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness week is Loneliness, which is likely to strike a chord with many women, especially those who internalise a lot of these feelings because they are frightened to admit things aren’t quite as perfect as they seem. If you, like me, happen to be one of those ladies, please be assured you are in very good company and you are certainly not alone.

 

 

 

If you are experiencing symptoms of mental illness and/or having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Use the following support groups and lifelines to get the care you need.

  • Seek advice from your GP
  • Call NHS choices on 111
  • Mind info line: 0300 123 3393
  • Crisis Text Line – text shout to 85258
  • Side by Side Mind’s supportive online community – join here: https://sidebyside.mind.org.uk/

 

*https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/w/women-and-mental-health