Detect & Protect : How to Support Women’s Wellbeing


know the signs… start the conversation


It can be challenging to detect if a woman is experiencing negative wellbeing, as everyone’s experiences and reactions are different.

However, there are 5 common signs and symptoms that may indicate a woman is struggling with her wellbeing.  Here are a few potential indicators:

  1. Changes in Behaviour: significant behaviour changes may be a sign of negative wellbeing. For example, if they are avoiding social activities that they used to enjoy, or having difficulty concentrating on tasks normally found easy, this could be a red flag.
  2. Mood Changes: Sudden and intense mood swings may also be a sign of negative wellbeing. For example, if a woman seems to be easily irritable, anxious, or sad, it may be a sign that something is wrong.
  3. Changes in Physical Health: Negative wellbeing can sometimes manifest as physical symptoms.  If a woman experiences unexplained physical symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, or stomach issues, it may be worth exploring whether there are underlying mental health issues contributing to these symptoms.
  4. Increased Substance Use: Sometimes, people turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with negative feelings. If a woman starts drinking or using drugs more frequently, this could be a sign that she is struggling with negative wellbeing.
  5. Withdrawal: If a woman starts to withdraw from social activities or spending time with loved ones, it may be a sign that she is under stress. While it’s normal to need some alone time, excessive withdrawal could be a sign.

These are just a few examples of potential signs of negative wellbeing in women.

If you’re concerned about someone’s wellbeing, it’s important to approach the topic with sensitivity and compassion.

Encourage the person to seek professional help if needed, and offer your support and understanding.  Here are some ways to provide support:

  1. Listen Actively:  Active listening involves giving the person your full attention and focusing on what they are saying. Let the woman know that you are there to listen without judgment and encourage her to share her thoughts and feelings. You can ask open-ended questions to help her articulate her concerns and validate her feelings.
  2. Offer Practical Support:  Depending on the situation, there may be practical steps you can take to help. For example, if the woman is struggling with a mental health issue, you could help her find resources such as therapy or support groups. You could also offer to help with practical tasks such as grocery shopping or cleaning.
  3. Be Patient & Non-Judgmental:  It’s essential to be patient and non-judgmental when supporting a woman experiencing negative wellbeing. Avoid making assumptions or telling her what to do. Instead, offer empathy and support.
  4. Encourage Self-Care:  Encourage the woman to take care of herself, both physically and mentally. Offer to do things together that promote wellbeing, such as going for a walk, cooking a healthy meal, or practicing mindfulness exercises.
  5. Check-in Regularly:  Checking in regularly can help the woman feel supported and cared for. You can reach out to her via text, phone, or in person, depending on what works best for her. Let her know that you’re there for her, and you care about her wellbeing.

Remember that supporting a woman experiencing negative wellbeing may require professional help – and it’s okay to suggest this option.

Encourage her to seek professional help if needed, offer to help her find resources and/or accompany her to appointments


Further Reading:

20 Ideas to Improve Wellbeing

Wellbeing Tips When Time Poor

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