One of the great crimes that come as a result of the stigma around mental illness is the disregard for its severity and the fear of admitting you have a health concern. Men and women both experience the misunderstanding, thoughtless reactions, and judgment that come from mental health issues, but a new article from BBC highlights that women’s mental health issues are widely disregarded altogether.
The article focuses on the work of Agenda, a UK alliance of more than 60 groups focused on females at risk, and their attempts to find mental health information on these women through the various mental health trusts in England. Not only did they find that of the replies they received that only one had a study that was gender-specific, but over half of the trusts had no policy that routinely asked about domestic violence, even though the value of such data collection was recognized by the Department of Health as far back as 2002.
Domestic violence is an incredible risk factor for both physical and mental health in women, and Agenda is moving swiftly to push for more information due to another staggering fact: the rate of suicide among women is rising in England.
The article goes on to address misdiagnosis, multiple hospitalizations, and a lack of safe places to talk about mental health concerns and get help for those who are diagnosed. It’s a great article, and worth a read, because a problem with mental health anywhere is a concern for mental health issues everywhere. It’s why we at Hope and Grace work so diligently to foster education and support so many causes that help alleviate the stigma and lack of care for those living with mental health concerns. We look forward to the day where these issues are as well-respected and supported as cancer and heart disease, a day we strive for with hope and grace.