Recently I came across a mental health campaign within a workplace. When I questioned it, it turns out the campaign was mainly for men, to try and get men to speak out. Now I was quite taken aback by this and thought what about women in their workplace. Why can’t they focus on mental health as a whole instead?
I have seen/heard many women not getting the support and struggle with their mental health within their workplace. My mental health sometimes affects my work. Not from the work load but because I physically and mentally cannot make it in to work. Right now after hearing about the purpose of that campaign, I feel demoralised. I feel unsupported. I feel offended. I feel like I am in the wrong to have a mental health illness. I feel discriminated about my mental health as a woman.
Mental health comes in all shapes and sizes. It affects everyone. Not just men. Not just women. It affects and can happen to anyone, male or female, young or old, no specific time of their life. I’m 23 years old and have suffered with anxiety and panic attacks for several years. I know and can see people alot older, in their 30’s/40’s and they suffer with some sort of mental health illness and some are currently hiding their illness away from people because they are afraid to speak out, and those people aren’t men either.
I understand men are more reluctant to speak out; they all believe they have this macho stereotype to live up to. But what about us women? Why should we be pushed aside and people feel the need to focus on men. Yes women are more emotional, and connect with their feelings, but it doesn’t mean they are quite happy to speak out to someone. We struggle too. I struggle. It takes me days/weeks to pluck up the courage to speak to a family member about my mental health. But because I’m a female I get pushed aside and forgotten about and not get the support I need as the support is based on men.
Would you, as a woman, feel comfortable to only know that the people around you who are mental health awareness trained are purely men? Would you feel comfortable, as a women, to only be able to speak to a man about your mental health illness? Would you, as a women, feel comfortable to only speak out about your mental health, come forward for the first time and admit there is a problem to a man?
You wouldn’t. I know I wouldn’t at the beginning. I only go and see a female doctor as that is who I am comfortable with.
Coming from someone who suffers with anxiety and panic attacks, I know that the first thing, the key thing to be able to speak out and admit about your mental health is to feel comfortable who you are talking to. So us women, are not getting that requirement in that campaign; the workplace who are trying to support their employee’s mental health but the campaign is focused on men only.
Everyone has a mind. Everyone has emotions. Everyone struggles with their mental health sometime in their life whether it’s in their 20’s, 30’s or 60’s. We are all equal and need the same support regardless of being a male or female.
I’m all for supporting Mental health for men AND women, for everyone. I’ll be open and honest about it. However, it really frustrates me when not EVERYONE is getting the same support.
Mental health support should be based on everyone, not genders.
Hugs, A x