The landscape of women’s health is rapidly changing and is becoming more and more unpredictable. The impact that these changes will have on both companies and individuals will be significant in years to come.

Over the past decade, we have seen several huge advancements when it comes to women accessing healthcare: insurers are now banned from systematically charging women more money than men for the same products, access to preventative care, eg. mammograms, smear test screenings, and birth control, has greatly increased and clinical research has taken a huge leap by now including testings on female rodents instead of solely males.

However, one thing which is still difficult for women to tackle in the workplace is mental health. Whilst work-related stress has since outgrown its status as being something we shouldn’t openly discuss, the health problems that it creates, both physically and mentally, is slowly taking over workplaces.

Who Is It Affecting?

Whether the employee is a junior, seasoned professional, CEO or a teacher, doctor or office worker, more and more workers are feeling the stress and strain of mental health issues. In 2017, over 526,000 men and women suffered from work-related stress, anxiety or depression. This year, that figure is set to steadily increase.

When looking at the individual statistics, it’s evident that women are suffering the most. In England, particularly, women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety issues than men. In a recent study, the average rate for work-related stress, depression and/or anxiety for men reached around 1,170 cases for men and 1,880 cases for women per 100,000 workers. So, has the “burnout” become more of an issue than we first expected?

Dr. Sandi Mann recently carried out some research on workplace stress, boredom, and health issues. In the modern workplace, it seems that employees have far too much to do and not enough time to do it or at least do it well. A lot of us have experienced work dissatisfaction, which often comes from being unable to produce work that we feel proud of.

With the ever-burgeoning workplace demands of meetings, paperwork, and deadlines, many job roles are creating a rise in workplace boredom. The combination of a bored mind and stress can quickly cause a toxic mental environment. This can easily poison moods and make it harder to deal with setbacks in work. This, in turn, then leads to stress and the ever-rising fear of being fired or feeling that you aren’t good enough and upsets the delicate scales of the work-life balance.

The New Savvy-Supporting Women’s Mental Health In The WorkplaceSupporting Women’s Mental Health In The Workplace

What Are Employers Doing To Tackle This?

It’s important that employers keep on top of this ever-increasing silent monster. In the year 2016/17, over 12.5 million working days were lost to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. There is becoming a desperate need for employers to curb workplace stress and improve the mental health of workers, often offering talking therapies, rest, and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Yet, these options can often stretch beyond the reach of many who are in the grip of suffering a workplace burn-out. For those that do manage to speak out, especially women, they are often faced with “solutions” that are focused on bettering themselves rather than working to solve the issue.

One of the main reasons that sufferers aren’t seeking help – help which employers are required to have an offer by law – is the fear of feeling and being portrayed as a failure. These attitudes around mental health within the workplace need to change. More and more employers are facing lawsuits because of workplace discrimination and finding themselves dealing with settlement agreements as employees start to become more aware of what they are entitled to. If you believe you have a case against a current or previous employer, then it is always best to seek professional advice.

What To Do If You Are Suffering

If you are suffering from workplace stress, it’s important to remember that you can only do what you can do. You are only human. If you can, keep notes of what you are spending your time doing at work so that you can explain if your workload is questioned or becoming unreasonable. Ensure that you take your annual leave no matter what, as more and more of us are refusing to have breaks and holidays in fear of coming back to stress.

In the evenings, do things you enjoy and stop thinking about work. Cinema trips, meals with friends or even just a relaxing evening can all help ease your stress levels. And, most importantly, find someone to talk to.

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