7. Women and Girls' Mental Health
Across most aspects of mental health, outcomes for women and girls are poorer than those for men and boys. Emerging evidence suggests that the impacts of lockdown and Covid-19 are more likely to impact negatively on the mental health of women for a range of reasons, including the impact of caring responsibilities. Therefore as we move out of lockdown, we will make women and girls' mental health a priority.
- 7.1 - Gender-Related Inequalities. We will engage with women's organisations and the First Minister's National Advisory Group on Women and Girls to better understand and respond to the gender-related mental health inequalities exacerbated by the Covid-19 outbreak. These include, but are not limited to:
- Stressors and trauma experienced by women in gender segregated key worker jobs
- Continuing and increased pressure on women in unpaid caring roles
- The disproportionate emotional and physical burden on women of caring for relatives of all ages, and (although not exclusively an impact on women) home schooling children
- Living with domestic violence, abuse, coercive control and toxic masculinity
- Loneliness and isolation felt by women at different stages of life (e.g. women with young babies or children, and older women living alone)
- The effects on mental wellbeing of young women and girls in a culture where they are encouraged to compare their lives to others, including the impact of social media and body image on young women.
- 7.2 - Violence Against Women. We will engage with women's organisations in order to identify and follow up on actions that can be taken to support women and girls' mental health in relation to the threat and reality of violence against women. Our approach will build on existing initiatives and the principles set out in Equally Safe.
- 7.3 - Perinatal Mental Health. We will continue our flagship work to support women and their families in the perinatal period through the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board
- 7.4 - Women's Health Plan. We will embed specific mental health actions and commitments within the Women's Health Plan.