Supporting women’s sexual safety in acute mental health settings
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Supporting women’s sexual safety in acute mental health settings

Marie Davis Assistant Forensic Psychologist, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham, England
Julie McGarry (bank) Domestic Abuse and Sexual Safety Lead, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your understanding of the various components of sexual safety

  • To learn about women’s perspectives and experiences of sexual safety in inpatient mental health settings

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Sexual safety in mental health settings is being increasingly recognised as a complex issue and a crucial aspect of organisational and practice responsibilities. However, concerns have been raised in relation to sexual safety for service users admitted to mental health inpatient wards in the UK. While sexual safety is a concern for everyone, the experiences and nature of concerns may vary across different groups and between individuals. It is also acknowledged that although interest in sexual safety is increasing, there remains limited evidence available from the perspectives of those who use mental health services. This article defines sexual safety and discusses its various components, and discusses a project that was undertaken to explore women’s perspectives and experiences of sexual safety in inpatient mental health settings. It also provides recommendations for maintaining sexual safety in clinical practice.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2021.e1508

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

julie.mcgarry@nottshc.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Davis M, McGarry J (2021) Supporting women’s sexual safety in acute mental health settings. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2021.e1508

Acknowledgement The authors would like to thank the women who agreed to take part in the original project and who shared their experiences. The authors would also like to thank The Burdett Trust for Nursing, which funded the project

Published online: 08 June 2021

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