Towards a gendered perspective for Irish mental health policy and service provision

Department of Nursing, School of Health Sciences , Waterford Institute of Technology , Waterford , Ireland.
Journal of Mental Health (Impact Factor: 1.01). 09/2012; 22(4). DOI: 10.3109/09638237.2012.714513
Source: PubMed


Background: The Irish Government has adopted "Gender Mainstreaming" as a strategy to promote equal opportunities between women and men in its National Development Plan. While current mental health policy addresses the principle of partnership and social inclusiveness as a way forward for mental health service provision, it still does not explicitly deal with the notion of gender and gender sensitivity. Indeed, Irish mental health policy and service provision is criticised for being gender-neutral. Aim: This paper explores the relationship between gender, mental health policy and service provision. Method: The literature on theoretical perspectives on mental health policy, gender and mental health in relation to Irish mental health policy is reviewed. Results: The importance of gender for policy development and service provision is recognised, and the need to reformulate debate within a gendered context is discussed. Some key theoretical perspectives and their significance for mental health policy are considered with possible explanations for the absence of a gender perspective for Irish mental health policy presented. Conclusion: Arguably, a move towards developing gender-sensitive mental health policy and service provision requires a stronger awareness of and connections between the macro, meso and micro levels for policy development and analysis.

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Available from: Michael Bergin, May 20, 2015
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    • "Clinicians can be supported by gender-sensitive mental health policies as suggested by Bergin et al. (2012) and recognition of three findings detailed within the current study and the wider masculinities and men's depression literature. First, as Courtenay (2000) articulated, ''masculinity requires compulsive practice, because it can be contested and undermined at any moment'' (p. "
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