Women and Mental Health – Women Supporting Women | Mindfulpath |Santa Monica | Stephanie Gilbert
Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Who better to understand the challenges women face than other women. Women supporting women brings connection, compassion, friendship, and a sense of unity. Mindfulpath is happy to introduce a new support group that brings women together in a safe and nurturing environment.
One in five women have a mental health condition in the United States (The American Psychiatry Association, 2017). It is estimated that half of those suffering are diagnosed, which means that statistic could be closer to 40% versus 20%. With current statistics, it’s believed that mental health conditions roughly affect women and men at the same rates, however, there are differences in the specific conditions each gender suffers from (World Health Organization, 2019).
When it comes to women and mental health, women are twice as likely to suffer from depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post- traumatic stress disorder, PTSD (The American Psychiatry Association, 2017).
Risk Factors for Women
Women have unique challenges based on the roles they fulfill. Women are increasingly the financial providers for the family, however, there is still a pay inequality between genders. They may also take on the additional role of care taking their parents in addition to their children. In addition, women are at greater risk of violence, which may be sexual or physical. Below are some statistics that speak to these specific risk factors:
· Financial: Women earn approximately 25% less than men, and have a higher poverty rate than men
· Violence: Approximately 33% of women are victims of stalking, physical violence, and/or sexual violence
· Familial: Women are in the caregiving role 65% of the time and spend 50% more time in that role than men
(The American Psychiatry Association, 2017)
What can we do?
Based on these statistics, women face challenging risk factors and are suffering from mental health issues without proper diagnosis and treatment. We, as mental health care providers and the mental health care industry as a whole, should be taking note. It is clear that women need more support. More education on mental health conditions, such as the variety of symptoms of trauma, anxiety, and depressive disorders would be beneficial. It can be relieving to know that what one is struggling with in regard to poor mental health is a real experience. There is treatment available instead of suffering in silence. Access to more therapy services for women to find support, learn coping strategies, decrease stigma, and provide additional resources is a necessity and here at Mindfulpath, we are able to provide that.
What can YOU do if you find yourself needing more support?
If you find yourself needing more support, reach out to the resources in your community. Never been to therapy and don’t know where to start? You can start with your general medical doctor and/or a psychiatrist. If you have insurance you would like to utilize and are interested in therapy, call and ask for a list of covered therapists. Planning to pay out of pocket? Try Psychology Today to search for therapists in your area. Or, if the price is an issue, search for non-profit community mental health clinics in your community. Give a potential therapist a call and ask a few questions about how they work with clients. You can often get a feel for a therapist over the phone. Remember, sometimes it’s not a fit and you need to try another. You deserve to feel connected and understood by your therapist.
At Mindfulpath, we know the value of mental health care for EVERYONE and we all have unique experiences that shape us. That’s the reason we offer a variety of services because no two people heal the same way. We also realize that healing is done in the community. Knowing the alarming rates of depression, anxiety, and trauma issues women face, we have started a women’s process group to provide a space for women to share about their experiences, find community, and feel supported in a society that can feel overwhelming. If you find yourself needing a community of other women to share about women’s issues, we invite you to contact us for more information on the group or the other services we offer.
We encourage you to pass this information about women’s mental health on to other women in your lives as well. Your voice may be the one a person needs to hear to make their first step towards recovery.
World Health Organization. Gender and Women’s Mental Health. (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/genderwomen/en/
The American Psychiatry Association. Mental Health Facts for Women [PDF]. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/cultural-competency/education/mental-health-facts