Together for Life organized today a round table discussion for the presentation of the findings of the report "Women and mental health in Albania - Public health policies and their gender approach to mental health". The report was developed by the Association "Together for Life", within the project "We cannot advance health without advancing rights", supported by the French Embassy in Albania.
The ambassador, Mrs. Elisabeth Barsacq, during her greeting speech, focused on the early treatment of mental health disorders and the importance of improving access to health care and integration into society. She also highlighted issues of prejudice and awareness of women's mental health as key issues. "Mental health problems in women, such as anxiety and depression, often remain taboo in society, especially in rural areas," said Ambassador Mrs. Barsacq. The support of civil society organizations regarding mental health awareness and the promotion of dialogue between interest groups is the focus of the French Embassy in Albania.
Representatives from the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Delegation of the European Union to Albania, lecturers and professionals in the social field, World Vision, Terre des Hommes, UNFPA, UN Women and other civil society organizations with a focus on women's empowerment and not only, journalists and media representatives, mental health professionals, as well as young activists in the field of public and mental health, were present at the meeting.
The report "Women and mental health in Albania - Public health policies and their gendered approach to mental health", presented some data, findings from monitoring the policies of public health institutions and their gendered approach to mental health, as well as enabled some updated recommendations for improving the situation.
The data and results of the report, drawn up and presented by health expert Dr. Alban Ylli, brought to attention that the social differences existing in society between women and men in terms of roles and responsibilities, status and power, interact with biological differences between the sexes, contributing to differences in the nature of mental health problems, behavior seeking medical aid from the affected persons, as well as the responses of the health sector and society as a whole.
One of the main pillars was focused on the fact that Albania has good laws/policies on mental health and gender equality. However, most policy documents on mental health lack a gender-specific approach to mental health issues or health service use.
At the end of the meeting, it was stated that cooperation between governmental institutions, non-governmental entities, civil society and all interest groups is essential. Through joint commitment, an effective mechanism can be built that addresses mental health under the perspective of gender equality.
The full findings of the report are accessible at the link: https://www.togetherforlife.org.al/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Women-and-Mental-Health-in-Albania.pdf