The WMHSIG was originally formed in 1995 to promote the mental health of women and to support women working in mental health. Membership is open to all and is not only for women. We have the following four objectives:
To function as a network for the dissemination of ideas, knowledge, service development and experience to improve the provision of mental health services for women.
To engage the public in dialogues, debates and discussions about social and cultural issues relevant to women’s mental health, both in the UK & elsewhere.
To contribute to a public women’s mental health agenda, raising awareness of women’s mental health issues, reducing stigma, improving access to support and contributing to solutions and positive socio-cultural change in the UK & elsewhere.
To support women psychiatrists’ working lives, including career development within management and academia.
We aim to achieve the above via coordinated website activity combined with regular social events, open to the public, where we debate and discuss challenges to women’s mental health with notable women in the public eye, bringing together the wisdom of lived experience with professional expertise.
In addition, we host educational events for psychiatrists and other health professionals.
The group, formerly known as the women in psychiatry special interest group (WIPSIG), was founded in 1995. Since its inception, the group has functioned as a network to both promote the mental and physical health of female service users and to draw attention to gender inequalities in women’s careers in psychiatry.
The group has hosted conferences and provided teaching for professional development on a diverse range of topics, including women and leadership; women’s mental health in pregnancy; gender differences in prescribing; domestic violence; trafficking of women and women as perpetrators of violence.
Members of the executive have also participated in the development of policy at both a Royal College and Department of Health level. Details of past group activity can be found in group minutes and newsletters, available via the College Archivist Francis Maunze.
The group’s name was changed in 2013 to the Women and Mental Health Special Interest Group (WMHSIG), with its current objectives agreed in 2015.
Now the group is over twenty-five years old, we hope to build on existing achievements while moving in a more outwardly-facing direction. We want to engage with other disciplines and the wider public, sharing our knowledge and expertise while learning from others.
Central to our endeavour is curiosity: what are the current choices and challenges for women at different stages of life and how might they navigate through them in mentally healthy ways?
In our approach to these questions we recognise women often find other women’s stories and suggestions valuable, alongside and sometimes above professional advice.
We hope therefore to develop our group and website as a resource for professionals and the public, bringing together both professional expertise and the wisdom of lived experience.
|International Women’s Network Lead
|Group Secretary and Complex caring responsibilities Lead
|Academic Lead and Social Media Lead
|VAWG Lead and College co-Presidential women’s lead
|College co-Presidential women’s lead
|Jo Talbot Bowen
|Social Network and Creativity Lead
|Core Trainee Lead and Newsletter Lead
|Executive member and College co-associate registrar for wellbeing