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The House of Commons Library has prepared a Debate Pack briefing in advance of a debate on women’s mental health that will take place in the House of Commons on Thursday 3rd October 2019. This debate was nominated by the Backbench Business Committee. This Library briefing contains background information, statistics, and parliamentary and press material, as well as suggested further reading which Members may find useful when preparing for this debate.

Overall prevalence of mental ill health for men and women are broadly the same but there are marked gender differences in the rates for different types of mental illness. In particular, women are more likely than men to experience anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders, and young women and girls are more at risk of self-harm. A number of recent publications, including the final report of the Women’s Mental Health Taskforce (December 2018) have called for mental health policies and services to better meet the specific needs of women and girls.

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