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Women's experience of forensic mental health services: implications for practice

Kerry Cooke (Mental Health Social Worker at Homeless Services, St Nicholas Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Di Bailey (Professor of Mental Health at School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 9 December 2011

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this pilot study is to explore women's experiences of forensic mental health care with a view to designing a larger scale research project.

Design/methodology/approach

In‐depth interviews were undertaken with seven self‐selected women who had experience of using secure services currently or in the past.

Findings

The findings revealed three key themes: women's experiences of settings and treatments; relationships with staff; and how placements impacted upon important social contacts with family and friends. Despite their relatively disadvantaged position, the women were able to articulate what worked and offered clear solutions for implementing best practice.

Originality/value

The women's experiences testified to the importance of meaningful relationships with professionals, and with families and friends, as protective factors to help manage risk. This “relational security” is particularly for women in secure services and can be promoted in a range of ways, hinging upon consistency of care, well managed transitions, and appropriate therapeutic treatment.

Keywords

Citation

Cooke, K. and Bailey, D. (2011), "Women's experience of forensic mental health services: implications for practice", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 186-194. https://doi.org/10.1108/17556221111194527

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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