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Mental Health Struggles for Women

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Many of us experience mental health struggles such as depression, anxiety, suicide ideation, and more at some point in our lives. But as with many things, women may experience these differently.  

This can be caused by biological factors, inherited traits, or personal life circumstances and experiences.[1] 

Not only are some mental illnesses like anxiety and depression more common in women, but there are also certain types of hormone-related disorders that are unique to them.[2] For example, perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression[1]. In addition, 1 in 9 women experience postpartum depression.[3]  

How AFSPA Can Help: 

Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) members have access to multiple mental wellness programs. Below are two programs we would like to highlight. 


The AbleTo program is an 8-week, personalized, video conference treatment support program designed to address a broad range of emotional and behavioral health needs including those associated with major life events.  

If you feel you would benefit from this program, would like more information, or would like to enroll in this program, please call 866-287-1802 or visit AbleTo’s website at This program is available to FSBP members in the 50 United States. 


The myStrength™ program provides you and your covered dependents age 13 and older, personalized, resources to help overcome depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder and improve overall well-being. 

This program uses interactive web and mobile applications to deliver evidence-based psychotherapy models like those used in cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and mindfulness acceptance.  

If you would like to enroll in the program visit, select “Sign-up,” enter the access code “FSBP” and complete a brief Wellness Assessment and personal profile. 

Additional Resources: 

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, call the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) helpline at 1-800-994-9662 9am-6pm ET Monday-Friday. This helpline and its associated website offer women information and resources.  

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and may be a danger to themself or others, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255




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