It’s time to talk about women’s mental health.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in men.

But did you also know that suicide is the leading cause of death for women under the age of 35?

It’s the second most common cause of death in new mothers and pregnant women.

Women are more likely to suffer with depression and twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder.

The good news is, women are also more likely to seek support for their mental health issues.

But there is still work to be done so that women receive the help they need. There is still work to be done to see women and girls able to fulfil their potential regardless of their mental health.

We need to stop using “emotional” as an adjective. It’s not wrong to show emotions and it’s certainly not restricted to women. Being able to manage and show our emotions well is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Crying isn’t a ‘girl’ thing, it’s a physiological reaction to the life we lead and the things that touch us. Tears shouldn’t be objects of shame, but of life.

More needs to be done. We need mental health services fit for purpose and we need a church and a society which enables women and men to be the people God has called them to be.

So today, on International Women’s Day, let’s be bold  and speak up for women, for their lives and for their emotions so that we can see a society which supports and strengthens, rather than weakens and devalues women.