Today (May 10th) marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Why should Soroptimists promote this week?
www.mentalhealth.org.uk offers information regarding how women’s mental health is adversely affected – their role as main carer of children; often they have a carer role of elderly and disabled relatives; they are more likely to experience sexual violence resulting in increased PTSD; exposure to domestic abuse can impact on a woman’s mental health; poverty and social isolation and more likely to result in depression and anxiety in women.
There is also evidence that indicates how the Covid pandemic and especially the repeated lockdowns have resulted in a negative impact on more women’s then men’s mental health. According to a study led by researchers at The University of Manchester, King’s College London and the National Centre for Social Research and the National Centre for Social Research, it is estimated that as many as 44 percent of young women are experiencing clinically significant levels of mental distress compared with 32 percent before the pandemic.
The study reported “The higher mental distress in women widens established mental health inequalities and highlights how important it is that providers make sure to maintain people’s access to services for domestic violence, sexual and reproductive health. Availability of childcare is also urgently needed.”
Soroptimists need to keep fighting to achieve gender equality , greater support for domestic abuse victims, improving women’s health and reducing women’s social isolation. We need to keep the fight going to reduce poverty and improve and empower women and girls to access education and employment.
This year, the theme for Mental Health Awareness week is Nature, which also fits into the Soroptimists’ centenary theme. Have a look at the following link to help you to understand why Nature can help improve everyone’s mental health:
It seems especially pertinent that SI Derby will be starting working in a garden at the local Perinatal unit to help improve the environment for the women who are experiencing mental health problems after the birth of their babies, thus incorporating action towards improving women’s mental health through their involvement with nature.