Implementing a woman abuse screening protocol

Research Report Round-up

In brief

Research is increasingly showing that there are links between substance use issues and mental health. Research is also starting to show that mental health and substance abuse problems are linked to trauma. This manual is intended to help agencies better respond to women who have been abused and have related trauma. It includes standardized and appropriate responses and referral procedures, as well as tools and tips to use when beginning to work with a woman who has disclosed that she has been abused.

EENet has developed a Research Report Round-up of the report, “Implementing a Woman Abuse Screening Protocol: Facilitating Connections between Mental Health, Addictions and Woman Abuse.”

Research Report Round-ups are brief summaries of research reports, presented in a user-friendly format.

Read it below or download the PDF.

Title and link to report: Implementing a Woman Abuse Screening Protocol: Facilitating Connections between Mental Health, Addictions and Woman Abuse

Author: Women’s Mental Health and Addictions Research Coalition

Year: 2007
Location: London-Middlesex region
Population addressed: Women
Key words: Women, mental health, addiction, abuse, screening, protocol, Ontario

What this report is about

This manual will help prepare agencies to respond to women who’ve been abused and have related trauma. It defines the role of the mental health professional in providing services to women who have been abused and have first-stage trauma. It includes standardized and appropriate responses and referral procedures as well as tools and tips to use when beginning to work with a woman who has disclosed abuse.

The strategies developed in this project are based on relational-cultural theory, which suggests that personal growth happens when one connects with others. The idea is that people seek connections and healthy relationships are created through mutual empathy and empowerment. Stronger linkages between sectors equals better services for clients, more consultations, and increased access for women who are afraid to access services because they are concerned for their safety if they seek support.

The introduction of this screening protocol in the London-Middlesex region has achieved improvements in the following areas:

  • Access to services that provide appropriate treatment and support for abused women and trauma related to abuse;
  • Support from mental health and addictions workers;
  • Identification of abused women;
  • Understanding of woman abuse and related trauma, and its impact on health;
  • Awareness of services;
  • Skills for responding to and supporting abused women;
  • Data on the number of women receiving mental health and addiction services who have experienced or are experiencing woman abuse and related trauma;
  • Evidence to support increasing the services available for women with serious mental illness and/or substance abuse problems who’ve been abused and have related trauma.

How this report can be used

This manual is specifically for frontline and management staff in the mental health and addictions sectors. It can be used to look at screening guidelines for abused women who have related trauma and help create a safe environment. The manual also can help when develop appropriate responses to disclosures of abuse. It aims to be used as a blueprint within the province, in both urban and rural areas, to successfully implement screening protocols for woman abuse and related trauma related to mental health and addictions.

Contact: Women’s Mental Health and Addictions Action Research Coaltion wmhaarc_on [at] yahoo [dot] ca

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