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Mind responds to landmark study which finds women experiencing domestic abuse are three times more likely to develop a mental health problem

Friday, 07 June 2019 Mind

A study out today by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the University of Birmingham has found that women experiencing domestic abuse are three times more likely to develop a mental health problem. The study shows that the likelihood is much higher than previously understood and is the first of its kind, looking at women’s experiences over time from the point at which they have an experience of abuse.

Responding to the study, Mind’s Head of Policy and Campaigns, Vicki Nash, said:

“We hear every day from women with mental health problems who have struggled to get the support that they need. Around one in five (19%) women experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, and this study show adverse experiences such as domestic abuse can increase the likelihood of this, as well as the risk of developing a serious mental health problem such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

“The journey to good mental health can be difficult, particularly for women who have faced traumatic life events, and it is made all the more difficult when people are unable to get the help they need, when they need it. Too many women are not having their needs met by mental health services, which are also not using a trauma-informed approach.

“Change will only be possible with government action and the appointment of a new Prime Minister offers an opportunity to deliver on the findings of the Women’s Mental Health taskforce and pass the Domestic Abuse Bill to help transform mental health services for women who have survived abuse. Whoever becomes Prime Minister must commit to improving women’s experiences of mental health services, as well as working on a joined up approach which tackles problems with social care, justice, housing, health and benefits. Only then will women with mental health problems get the support they deserve.”

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