Marginalisation of Mental Health, the Impact on Women

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2015 National Women's Conference
15 October 2014
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that women are more likely to be treated for a mental health problems than men.

As reported by Mental Health Foundation 29% of women compared to 17% of men are treated for mental health problems. One in four women are treated for depression, compared to one in ten men. Women are also disproportionally more likely to experience anxiety; this is highlighted by those suffering from phobias or OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), who are more likely to be female.

Conference is concerned with Central Government cuts to Local Government funding, real term cuts in NHS funding and cuts to Community and Voluntary Sector (CVS) funding is having a huge impact on the range of mental health services available or accessible.

Conference also notes under this Tory-led Government the NHS has been hugely fragmented and privatised due to the Health and Social Care Act which has impacted on the provision of mental health services.

Conference further recognises the NHS will be on all political parties agendas in the run up to the General Election in 2015. However, conference remains concerned that mental health will continue to remain a Cinderella service within the NHS. This has, and will remain, to have a disproportionate greater impact on women, the larger users of the service.

Conference welcomes Andy Burnham’s manifesto pledge to repeal the Health and Social Care Act should Labour be elected in 2015 and that Labour will work towards an integrated Health and Social Care system with mental health as an integral part of the system.

Conference, therefore calls on the National Women’s Committee to:

1) Continue to work with Labour Link and other agencies on examples of best practise working and to continually campaign

for proper investment of mental health services

2. Encourage regions to collate and record information from branches where public owned mental health services are

threatened, restricted, reduced, outsourced or cut, to enable the impact on women in particular to be accurately gauged

going forward from 2015

3. Examine, collate and feedback the effects on staff within the mental health arm of NHS, many of whom are women, to gauge

the load as a base reference for the future

4. Continue working with and including relevant CVS’ to lobby for a fairer funding settlement for Local Government

5. Report back to NWC in 2016 with any identified actions to combat further attacks on this service in particular