Women in Buckinghamshire are being urged to get support for their mental health this World Mental Health Day as a Mental Health Foundation report shows women are more likely to be struggling in the pandemic.

According to the Mental Health Foundation’s Coronavirus: Mental Health in Pandemic study women are more likely to experience common mental health problems than men and more women, especially younger women, are reporting difficulties.

John Pimm, Healthy Minds, said: “We know the pandemic and dramatic shift in the way we live our lives has been particularly trying for some group of people – and one of those is women.

“In Buckinghamshire we are fortunate to have a number of mental health services available to support people, with appointments available now.

“We know more women are very anxious right now. People will often think they can muddle through but this can lead to ongoing challenges which niggle away for months or even years. There is a lot we can do to help people and relieve their symptoms in a short space of time. Healthy Minds offers treatment for the stresses, anxiety and worry of everyday life. We really can help people feel a lot better right now. Our services are ready and available.”

Buckinghamshire also has a dedicated perinatal mental health service for expectant and new mums at a crucial time in their lives.

The team works closely with other professionals, developing a treatment plan with women which is tailored to them. The aim is to provide the right care to help women recover, encouraging family involvement and strengthening their bond with their child. They support women with severe mental illness such as Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Affective Disorder and Post-Partum Psychosis.

Joseph Madamombe, perinatal team manager, said: “We are here to help women at a very critical vulnerable time in their lives – it is the earliest care we can provide. We’re working from conception to help women and their babies and we’re able to give them more intensive support. Anyone who is struggling should get in touch with their GP, midwife or health visitor to access our service. We’re available now, ready to listen and help.”

The Mental Health Foundation study stated women were also at greater risk before coronavirus as they make up the majority of frontline health and care workers, are more likely to do unpaid work, are overrepresented in low paid and insecure work, and are more likely to have pre-existing difficulties with debt and bills. They are also more likely to shoulder a higher proportion of caring responsibilities. The Mental Health Foundation found all of the women in these positions were at greater risk of developing a mental health problem before the pandemic and will be at increased risk as the economic ramifications of the pandemic are realised. It is also the case that women are much more likely to be affected by domestic violence and abuse, the risk of incidence of which have increased during lockdown.

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from mental health support contact:

Healthy Minds on 01865 901 600.

Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Mental Health Helpline on 0800 783 0119 (adults) or 0800 783 0121 (children and young people).

Speak to your GP, midwife or health visitor about getting help from Buckinghamshire Perinatal Mental Health Team.