Women’s Mental Health Network, Advocacy

20 June, 2023

Women's Mental Health - A Way Forward

Illustration of four women of different ages standing together.

The Women’s Mental Health Network (WMHN) held an event, Women’s Mental Health – A Way Forward, on gender-sensitive mental health.

Taking place on 20 June, the event aimed to offer a path forward to achieving mental health policy and services which are responsive to women’s particular needs.

Responses to women’s mental health needs

The WMHN is a collaboration between us here in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS) and the National Women’s Council (NWC) to bring together people and organisations with a committed interest in women’s mental health issues.

During the event, the NWC launched new research which aims to explore how mental health services can be designed and delivered to be sensitive to women and girls’ needs. The research, Gender-Sensitive Mental Health: Developing Policy and Services Which Meet the Particular Needs of Women and Girls, has a specific focus on mild to moderate needs in primary care or community service settings.

The event gave an opportunity to place the findings of the Gender-Sensitive Mental Health report in the wider context of emerging research on women’s mental health. As such, other recent reports, which share the goal of making mental health policy and service better responsive to women and girls’ needs, were also explored.


Speakers at the event included:

  • Dr Emma Hurley is the Lead Researcher from Quality Matters, who carried out NWC’s research.
  • Blezzing Dada is Black-Irish and a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and champion for social justice. Blezzing is an award-winning writer and SeeChange Ambassador.
  • Professor Siobhán MacHale is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Chair of the Specialist Women’s Mental Health Group. She will present on the group’s report, Embedding Women’s Mental Health in Sharing the Vision. This group was established by the National Implementation and Monitoring Committee to support the implementation of Sharing the Vision, Ireland’s national mental health policy.
  • Jessica Curtis is the Senior Project Manager for the Health Service Executive (HSE) Office of Mental Health Engagement and Recovery (MHER). Jessica will speak about the reports that MHER published with Mental Health Reform: The Experiences of Women Engaging with Mental Health Services and The Mental Health Impact of Menopause and Perimenopause.


You can read the NWC's report on gender-sensitive mental health here.

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