Women’s Health Week: Ministers for Health welcome launch of Embedding Women’s Mental Health in Sharing the Vision
From Department of Health
Last updated on
From Department of Health
Last updated on
Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, have today launched Embedding Women’s Mental Health in Sharing the Vision – a report by the specialist group on women’s mental health.
The National Implementation Monitoring Committee (NIMC) for Sharing the Vision, Ireland’s national mental health policy, established this specialist group to progress the priority issue of women’s mental health.
The report has recommended the embedding in Sharing the Vision of Ireland’s first ever Women’s Mental Health Charter to enshrine and enhance the provision of mental health services and supports for women and girls in Ireland.
It is envisaged that all health services would commit to the Charter in order to strengthen gender awareness, and ensure that women experience an inclusive, supportive and effective mental health service that meets their needs.
The Charter aims to ensure:
The Charter is embedded in, and complements, existing monitoring, and implementation structures of Sharing the Vision.
Launching the report as part of Women’s Health Week 2023, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly said:
"I’m pleased that we have made real and tangible progress by investing significantly in the provision of women’s healthcare services since we launched the Women’s Health Action Plan in 2022.
"This report is another welcome and significant milestone on this journey and I welcome the recommendation to establish a Charter to ensure we continue to develop better mental health services for the women and girls of Ireland."
Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, said:
"With more young women in Ireland sadly reporting increased levels of anxiety, self-harm, and thoughts of suicide, it is imperative that we do all we can to ensure women and girls are getting the right access to mental healthcare and support in the right place and at the right time.
"Engagement with service users and those with lived experience is essential for a positive outcome. I’m grateful to all who contributed to this report."
Chair of the Specialist Group, Professor Siobhan MacHale, said:
"I would like to particularly thank the Specialist and Reference Groups, who brought a range of professional and civil society perspectives to this vital work. It is essential that gender is considered when creating and providing effective mental health services.
"The recommendations in this report will facilitate services in applying a gender-sensitive lens to mental health care provision, ultimately leading to more positive health outcomes for women and girls."
Chief Nursing Officer, the Department of Health Women’s Health Champion and Co-Chair of the Women’s Health Taskforce, Rachel Kenna, said:
"Within a year, the Women’s Health Fund has invested in several mental health initiatives, including specific supports for vulnerable and marginalised women as well as women with complex health needs.
"The Embedding Women’s Mental Health report marks another significant step in how gender is considered in the services we are already providing whilst also creating pathways that will lead to improved mental wellbeing in the future."
Sharing the Vision is an action-oriented policy focused on delivering better outcomes for people experiencing mental health difficulties to bring about tangible changes in their lives and achieve better results.
The National Implementation Monitoring Committee (NIMC) was set up to oversee the implementation of Sharing the Vision (STV) Ireland’s national mental health policy to enhance the provision of mental health services and supports across a broad continuum from mental health promotion to specialist mental health service delivery during the period 2020-2030. The NIMC is made up of the NIMC Steering Committee, supported by a NIMC Reference Group of Service Users and Family Members and NIMC Specialist Groups including the NIMC Specialist Group on Women’s Mental Health.
Embedding Women’s Mental Health in Sharing the Vision is a joint project between the NIMC and the Department of Health Women’s Health Taskforce. Recommendation 3 of Sharing the Vision states that both groups will undertake a joint project to outline an effective approach to the mental health of women and girls, ensuring that mental health priorities and services are gender-sensitive and that women’s mental health is specifically and sufficiently addressed in the implementation of the Sharing the Vision policy.
The Women’s Health Action Plan is a fully-funded strategy, launched on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2022. In 2022 the government provided an extra €10 million towards the Women’s Health Fund to continue support for women’s health priority areas, investing €1.9 million to accelerate the development of a range of mental health services to support women and girls, including: