Gender and mental health on the menu at community café event
Anyone is welcome to attend the ‘Off to the Caf’ community café event which will take place from 2-4pm in the Leeds City Museum. Two hour-long conversations will be held around the topic of mental health and how this can be experienced differently across the gender spectrum.
The discussions will be delivered by the community-based organisations Volition, Leeds York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Yorkshire Trans Support Network (YTSN), Time to Change, and Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service (WCTS), in collaboration with academics from Leeds Beckett University.
The event forms part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)’s annual Festival of Social Science, a national initiative aiming to showcase the important role which social science research plays in our social, economic and political lives.
Karl Witty, Team Lead for Leeds Beckett University’s CommUNIty Partnerships in the Institute for Health and Wellbeing, commented: “It is widely recognised within research that mental health is experienced differently across the gender spectrum. Over the afternoon, we are looking to answer questions such as: How does gender inform mental health and wellbeing? Does current support meet the gendered mental health needs of the community? And how do we develop democratic approaches to gender and mental health in community settings?”
Health service delivery and research as well as policy development are becoming increasingly sensitive to gendered need as it becomes more widely recognised that mental health is experienced differently across gender. Mental health charity Pace also announced last year that nearly half of the young transgender people they surveyed had attempted suicide.
Andrew Howorth, Head of Patient Experience at the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust, said: “Men’s mental health can be a taboo subject. Traditional ideas about masculinity as well as pride and peer pressure can all lead men, more so than women, to feel isolated and unable to express concerns over their mental wellbeing. While 72% of people treated for depression are female, 75% of people who take their own lives are male.
This is why Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is running a year-long campaign throughout 2015 to challenge these preconceptions and open up channels of conversations.”
Karl added: “Our free event will provide an opportunity for researchers and members of the general public to sit down over a hot drink and pastry and discuss what this really means to individuals experiencing mental ill health, the broader community and relevant services in the community – both within the NHS and through charitable organisations.”
Community-based organisations delivering mental health and wellbeing work in a gender-sensitive way are invited to get involved in the event by contacting email@example.com or calling 0113 812 1968. For more information about the event, and to book to attend the event, please go to http://offtothecaf.eventbrite.co.uk.
A ‘sold out’ walk and talk group on the topic of the ‘Off to the Caf’ event will also take place across the city centre and be available to listen to afterwards at https://soundcloud.com/leedsbeckett.
The ESRC’s 13th annual Festival of Social Science takes place from 7-14 November 2015 with over 200 free events nationwide. The Festival provides an opportunity for anyone to meet with some of the country’s leading social scientists and discover, discuss and debate the role that research plays in everyday life. A full programme is available at www.esrc.ac.uk/festival. You can also join the discussion on Twitter using #esrcfestival.