Welcome to the EPA 2021 Interactive Programme
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Depression, anxiety, mental suffering, sexual violence, domestic violence and escalating substance use affect women more than men worldwide. The high prevalence of sexual violence suffered by women and the correspondingly high rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) makes women the largest single group of people affected by this disorder. Thus, gender-specific risk factors for common mental disorders that disproportionately affect women include socio-economic disadvantage, low or subordinate social status and rank, dependence on men and hugh responsibility for caring for others. e.g. children. The effects of long-term, cumulative psychosocial adversity on mental health have still not been sufficiently taken into account and studied. Despite clinical guidance on the role of mental health professionals in identifying violence against women and responding appropriately, poor identification persists and can lead to non-engagement with services and poor response to treatment. Knowledge should be gathered on the prevalence and causes of mental health problems in women and on the factors that mediate and protect them. The symposium aims to contribute to improving the mental health of women. The first speaker will talk on „Mental health and human rights of women“, the second speaker will focus on „Mentally ill mothers: How to improve their mental health“. The third speaker´s presentation will be on „Mental health of women with immigrant, refugee and asylum seeker background - how can they be engaged and supported?", while the last speaker will highlight "Gender Inequity in Health: How can it be changed?". All presentations will be discussed with the plenum.
JS0001 - Mental Health and Human Rights of Women
Introduction: Mental health stigma and discrimination interact with gender inequality and the discrimination of women and girls to their mental health detriment.
Objectives: Present and discuss the challenges and opportunities of a human rights based approach to womens’ mental health.
Methods: Non-systematic review of policy and practice of human rights based interventions for womens’ mental health.
Results: Current mental health as well as gender equality legislation converge towards the realization of longstanding demands of equality for women as well as for persons with mental health problems: removal of barriers, respect and enablement of autonomy, renewed efforts toward effective inclusion in all spheres of life. Essential changes through non-discrimination laws concern key areas, including family planning, marriage and parenthood, employment, housing, education, health, standards of living and social, political and cultural participation, along with the right to be free from exploitation, violence and abuse. Because of the cumulation and the interaction of gender-based and other forms of discrimination, legislations such as the UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD) include a focus on gender-specific human rights needs of women and girls. Family advocacy in mental health is prominently supported by female activists as is the user movement.
Conclusions: The opportunities of a successful development towards non-discrimination and gender equality in mental health care are dependent on a viable understanding of these concepts within the mental health community as well as updated expertise concerning tools for implementation of support systems sensitive to the human rights needs of women and girls.