Sixty three percent of women with mental health issues feel that doctors too readily prescribe drugs to treat low level mental health problems. What are classified as “low level” mental health concerns, depression, stress and low self-esteem impact women’s lives significantly and thus society in general. Problems are triggered by relationship breakdown, changing school, bereavement or debt effects 63% of all women, and in particular are impacting work attendance and personal relationships.

Platform 51, the operating name of YWCA England & Wales, played a large part in the 24-page research document. Penny Newman, Platform 51’s chief executive states:

“Policy-makers need to act now to address this unseen crisis in women’s mental health and provide a range of effective interventions. We must put an end to the dependency culture that has built up around prescription drugs, giving women more choice and control over the support they receive. Too often women’s opinions about what matters to them are not heard.”

Many women often turn to including promiscuity, drug taking and crime to relieve these low feelings of anxiety, self esteem and societal acceptance. Some of the women studied claimed to have slept with three or more persons in a week’s time seeking love, attention and acceptance.

Mental health problems can be triggered by emotional or physical abuse, bullying, changing school, getting into debt, relationship breakdown, bereavement, redundancy, leaving home or getting pregnant. For many it is a combination of these which can cause the onset of mental health problems; the cumulative effect makes it harder to cope with each new challenge.

Other impacts of women’s mental health on self and society were uncovered. Forty four percent of women with mental health problems took time off work, with 25% of these taking at least one week off per year outside of granted vacation time.

Almost a third of women reported losing friends and drinking regularly with the intent to get drunk. One in five build up excessive debt and 35% of women 18 to 24 attempted self-harm.

Millions of women with mental health problems are not getting the right kind of help. It is reported that nearly 30% how sufferers had never even sought professional help.

Newman continues:

“Millions of girls and women are not getting the support they need. Women are often the linchpins of their families and their communities, and if three in five of them aren’t functioning at their best they lose out, their family and friends lose out and so does wider society. Working with girls and women every day for over 150 years we have seen time and time again how often mental health can hold women back.”

Download the Full Report: Supporting Wellbeing in Girls and Women

Written By Sy Kraft, B.A.