The Women’s Mental Health Network (WMHN) is a partnership of voluntary organisations working across sectors, which aims to provide a user-led campaigning platform to give women with mental health needs a voice, and drive forward change. The WMHN’s focus is to improve women’s experience of using statutory services in a range of settings, such as hospitals, prisons, drugs and alcohol, housing, social services, by influencing them to become more gender-specific.
Why is the WMHN needed?
- There is no understanding or provision of gender specific services, and the need for women-led definition which can be implemented across statutory services
- There is no cross sector approach to providing services to women with mental health needs who may access multiple services
- Research underpins and policy demands gender specific services – but policy is not translated into practice in statutory services and next to nothing happens on the ground unless a service has a rare champion on the team.
- A lot of public money is ploughed into statutory services that women with mental health needs use, and if services are not gender specific, they not only do not meet women’s needs, but they can undermine the work being delivered by specialist voluntary sector organisations.
- The drive for change needs to be woman-led, giving women a strong voice.