The government has released a report, highlighting the importance of women’s mental health and the care principles required. The report, titled ‘Women’s Mental Health Taskforce final report’ sets out the government approach for better care with the consideration of specific gender and trauma care.
The report comes about after the introduction of the Women’s Mental Health Taskforce in 2017. The taskforce was set up as a result of studies suggesting the deterioration of mental health in women as well as the lack of support services available for women. The report uses real-life examples and lived experiences in a bid to encourage commissioners and practitioners to promote women’s mental health.
The taskforce hopes the report will help to develop a best practice approach for women’s mental health in organisations. This will be an approach that caters specifically for gender and individual needs.
What’s included in the report?
The report covers a range of aspects such as;
- Trauma that women can experience in inpatient facilities
- Issues of women being victims of violence and abuse in the past
- The role of women as carers and mothers and the consideration for their specific needs
- The care that women receive
- How mental health issues can affect females more than males such as the higher risk of eating disorders and self-harm.
What recommendations does the report provide?
The Women’s Mental Health Taskforce report covers a number of recommendations based on their findings which include;
- Improving the reporting process surrounding issues of sexual violence and sexual harassment
- The future consideration of women’s’ needs in mental health policies
- Providing safety for women in residential mental health care
- Ending breaches of single-sex wards
- Improving trauma-informed care
- Recognising the identity of women and their roles
- Providing more personalised treatment and in-service planning
- Ensuring routine enquiry of violence and abuse
- Developing service design and delivery for women’s mental health.
Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price chaired the taskforce, on releasing the report she said; “I’m determined that this report will take an important first step towards our aim of tackling the injustices facing women, while ensuring that no vulnerable woman slips through the net. I appeal to partners across the health, justice and social care systems to work together to drive forward our ethos and ensure that women receive the high-quality care they deserve.
Mental health is a top priority for this government and will be a key part of the upcoming long-term plan for the NHS, which will help us drive the outcomes of this report forward.”
The Chief Executive of Agenda, a women’s charity adds; “The taskforce identified an urgent need for support that better responds to the realities of women’s lives including their experiences of abuse and trauma and their roles as mothers and carers.
We call upon government and leaders across the health service to heed the findings of this report and use the principles it sets out to improve the response to women’s mental health so that all women get the help they need when they need it.”