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Third of women uncomfortable discussing mental health

12 March 2020

New research has shown that as many as one in three women do not feel comfortable discussing their mental health.

According to the findings by mental health treatment specialist Smart TMS, women suffer higher levels of social anxiety, poor self-image and loss of confidence than men. Over a quarter (27%) of women regularly cancel plans to avoid social interaction as a result of severe anxiety, compared with 21% of men, while as many as four in 10 (39%) of women say they feel significantly less confident than they once were, versus 28% of men.

Despite this, nearly a third (29%) of women feel unable to open up to their family or friends about their mental health challenges for fear of judgement, while 24% said they feel unable to discuss their mental health with their partners.

The results of the research showed that work had a big impact on the mental wellbeing of women, with 31% admitting to suffering from unmanageable levels of stress and anxiety brought about by work and 29% feeling unable to discuss their mental wellbeing with their colleagues. A quarter of women (25%) surveyed said they’re too busy to prioritise their mental wellbeing, despite suffering from depression or anxiety.

With many women reporting ill side-effects or little positive effects of medication, Smart TMS’ research has suggested that other methods of mental health treatment should be explored.

Gerard Barnes, CEO, Smart TMS (pictured), has called upon industry and government to prioritise mental wellbeing, creating more awareness and open conversations around the topic of mental health.

Barnes said: “It has been made very clear that a huge proportion of women across the UK are suffering with a variety of mental health challenges. Events such as International Women’s Day are fantastic initiatives to help raise awareness, but it’s evident that we cannot limit our focus on the issue to one single day.

“More needs to be done to help everybody across the UK recognise symptoms of mental health conditions within their own behaviours and respond accordingly, especially for women. It is also vital that people in positions of power, both in the public and private sectors, focus their attention on making more mental health provisions available. Britain’s employers must provide more mental health support and wellness initiatives, and health services must be equipped with the resources needed to introduce more support and explore new treatment methods.”

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