Gender sensitivity and mental health care provision

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines gender and mental health service provision with particularreference to alcohol related disorders and sensitivity of care. The theoretical andempirical literature in relation to gender, mental health care provision and alcohol relatedissues is explored.The Irish Government has adopted Gender Mainstreaming as a strategy to promoteequal opportunities between women and men in its National Development Plan.However, while current mental health policy addresses the principle of partnership andsocial inclusiveness as a way forward for mental health service provision, it still does notexplicitly deal with the notion of gender and gender sensitivity. Irish mental health policyand service provision is criticised for being gender-neutral. Research exploring thegendered needs of service users is lacking and this further compounds any attempt in theprovision of care that is gender sensitive. Drinking alcohol is considered a genderedactivity and impacts upon gender sensitivity and mental health care provision. Genderdifferences exist and the literature suggests that there is less social acceptability forwomen with alcohol related problems as traditional codes of femininity are seen to bebroken, and such behaviour patterns are largely viewed as deviant. This mirrors dominantsocietal expectations for women and alcohol use. Drinking alcohol and related problemsare viewed as belonging within a masculine domain and such practices are still moresocially acceptable for men.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrug Use and Abuse
Subtitle of host publicationSigns/Symptoms, Physical and Psychological Effects and Intervention Approaches
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781626182325
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Alcohol
  • Care provision
  • Gender
  • Ireland


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