A rise in women suffering from mental health issues across Sheffield has been highlighted by Sheffield Together Women Project who provide holistic and gender specific support to vulnerable women across the city, offering help to women who may find it hard to reach or access mainstream services.

Jess Ryland, Emerge worker at the Sheffield centre, said:

“We have women across Sheffield coming to us everyday. They can be housewives or career women. They can be fleeing from domestic abuse or seeking refuge.”

In particular, she said mental health issues are common and are on the increase.

NHS research shows that nationally, women are found to be twice as likely to be affected as men by mental health disorders.

Laura Sharp, 29, who had been taking part in this project for a couple of months, said:

“I’ve been suffering from autism, ADHD depression and anxiety. I rarely came out because I was too scared of what the public might think of me.

I used to cope with my anxiety by keeping myself in the house.”

Laura said that being in Sheffield TWP had helped her get along with people.

“Here is a safe environment and no one judges us on what we’ve been through.”

Lena Ward, 45, had been under pressure from her career and family.

“My mental health barriers sometimes prevented me from socialising and making more friends. It is the hardest part of my life.”

Having been in Sheffield TWP for a year, Lena has gained more confidence and even took part in the Lantern Festival Show this April as a lead volunteer.

Nur Ali, the Health Development Worker at Sheffield TWP and Shipshape, said: “Women tend to be more likely to have mental health issues because they are under much more pressure, both from work and family.”

Sheffield Together Women are encouraging women with mental health issues to either contact them at 01142758282 or visit their site at http://www.togetherwomen.org/centres/sheffield.

Nur Ali, health trainer at Sheffield TWP

Pictures of women coming to Sheffield TWP for help