Perspectives On The Provision Of Counselling For Women In Ireland
The last decade has seen a growing interest in attention to women’s health, including women’s mental health. Women are the most frequent users of the health services and are more likely to present with mental health issues, most notably depression and anxiety (Breslau et al., 1995). During the consultative process for the Plan for Women’s Health (1997-1999) the health services were criticised for not responding appropriately to women’s mental health needs. Women perceived the services as being primarily concerned with treating mental illness, rather than protecting and promoting mental health. Women specifically requested greater
access to counselling1 services, located in appropriate physical environments that were not medically orientated. Such counselling should be proactive, attracting clients for whom mental health issues had not developed into more serious problems. These services would help them to develop coping skills and assertiveness.
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