Believe Their Pain


Three simple steps to become an advocate for hidden pain


Believe them

Believe them

1 in 2 women said their pain had been dismissed because of their gender⁶.

Those who experience misogyny face bias and discrimination at every stage of disclosing hidden health concerns, from medical professionals to colleagues and friends, so the first step is to believe them and encourage others to believe them.


Educate yourself

Educate yourself

Often the responsibility of educating unaffected people falls on those being discriminated against, which can be exhausting, alienating, and even dangerous.

Let’s not put any more pressure on those affected to educate us. We need to be responsible for our own education, especially when things do not affect us directly, so we can fight against unconscious bias and make workplaces a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone.


Advocate for them

Advocate for them

We want everyone to become a visible ally for an invisible issue. 

People with hidden health conditions and disabilities often face discrimination and stigma – so speaking up can be challenging. If you can say something or change something at your work, you should. We all need to advocate for each other.

Create positive change in your workplace


Sign off as an ally

Customisable email signature templates


Most professional comms still live in the dreaded inbox, so why not use your email signature to clarify your experience or allyship to your colleagues? 

Copy and paste the below into your email signature, and don’t forget to customise as much as you want.



This office believes women and non-binary people’s pain, and supports those with invisible health conditions and disabilities. If this affects you, I am here to listen. 


I believe women and non-binary people’s pain, and support those with invisible health conditions and disabilities so I am [sharing these three easy steps to allyship] OR [educating myself, and I welcome the opinions of those affected].

For those who wish to disclose and discuss:

I am affected by an invisible [health condition] OR [disability]. [I am sharing the SheSays #BelieveTheirPain campaign to de-stigmatise this issue and am open to respectful discussion in this office.] OR [you can support me by sharing these three easy steps to allyship.]

Out of Office for those affected:

This office supports those with invisible health conditions and disabilities. I [work from home] to support my needs and [may be a little slower at replying to emails this week]. Thank you for your understanding.


Ignorance is not bliss

Start your journey with some of our picks below…


  • The Retrievals – a podcast from the New York Times exploring dismissed pain during the course of fertility treatment 
  • At Your Cervix – a podcast dedicated to women’s health issues such as incontinence, pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction 


  • Medical Herstory – a blog eliminating sexism, shame, and stigma from health experiences

Watch and follow

  • Sophie Jayne Butler, Video Essays and Commentary 26-year-old disabled queer Londoner Sophie, deconstructs topics, to understand the world  Youtube & Instagram
  • Alice Ella Content creator giving the ‘Dislaybled’ body confidence Instagram
  • Sophie Morgan TV Host, Producer, Writer and Entrepreneur advocating for disability rights. See ‘Beyond Barriers’ column for Conde Nast Traveller. She is Co-Founder @_making_space__ and Founder @RightsOnFlights  Instagram
  • Keeley Cat-Wells Disability rights Activist, Founder and CEO at career advancement platform Making Space. Follow on Linkedin
  • You Look Okay To Me an online space for chronic illness with video essays on illness, culture and identity Youtube  Instagram 
  • Ellie Middleton Autistic ADHDer, Penguin Life Author and TEDx Speaker on LinkedIn & Instagram
  • Crip Cramp, a Disability Revolution on Netflix
  • The Mind Explained by Vox Netflix
  • Diagnosis from the NYT Netflix
  • Unrest  a film on M.E by Jennifer Brea
  • Afflicted on Netflix
  • My Beautiful Broken Brain on Netflix
  • Gaga: Five Foot Two on Netflix
  • In a Different Key on Amazon

Know your rights, your community and more

Resources for those affected

What to do at work

If you’re navigating health challenges at work, contact NABS on 0800 707 6607 and speak to their Support Team for a confidential, compassionate and informative chat (available to those working in, or who previously spent a substantial amount of their career working in the UK advertising, media and marketing industry).

Community groups for support and rest