Dear Friends and Colleagues,
With me in this picture is Salma - Us- Sabah, a brave woman with lived experience of a mental health condition, who also works as a valued staff member in my department. To ensure that Salma and others like her live with dignity and reach their potential we must understand their unique life situation and provide suitable solutions.
Accelerating the path to find effective solutions for everyone who needs it we must #EmbraceEquity.
While Equality provides equal opportunities, Equity focuses on meeting needs of women where they are. Women with disabilities, the old and the very young, those who live in poverty and in humanitarian crisis situations, all have their unique needs that need to be addressed, for each of them to achieve equality.
The IAWMH recognizes the diversity of needs across different sectors, systems and regions to achieve positive mental health outcomes for women and girls. For this we need to listen, to look and to understand the views of women who work with us and use our services.
Some solutions in facilities are essential but often ignored- safety in psychiatric inpatient and outpatient settings, ensuring that services support women with sensory and motor disabilities, childcare support for women with young children when they see a mental health professional, better signage for women who have intellectual challenges and using Tele support for women who cannot reach services. Research and innovation using technology and overcoming the gender digital divide is important to achieve gender equity.
IAWMH looks forward to hearing about initiatives from members based on this year’s theme of embracing equity and 'DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’ in mental health.
We hope to publish such initiatives in our newsletter going forward in 2023, beyond March 8th! Let’s collaborate and learn from each other to ensure inclusivity and overcome challenges for women’s mental health, on this International Women’s Day!