New discussion: Mental health, well-being and FGM

The discussions of the CoP-FGM – June 2020 : « Mental Health, Well-being and FGM »

The new discussion of the CoP-FGM will focus for the next weeks on ‘’Mental Health, Well-being and FGM’’.
For this discussion, aside the usual online discussion, we will have two webinars. One in English, on June 9th, and another in French, on June 17th.

Like other traumatic experiences in childhood, FGM can have immediate, short and long-term psychological consequences. Nevertheless, it is important to notice that all women react differently. The psychological consequences are not systematic nor universal and differ from one woman to another.

The thematic note addresses the main consequences of FGM on the mental health of affected women and girls, the way physical, sexual and psychological complications mutual enhance, the influence of migration and social norms on women’s body’s acceptance. We then review existing therapeutic support for women and girls, sharing some good practices, and discuss the role of prevention. Finally we discuss some of the current issues such as lack of data and lack of access to mental health services.

When preparing for this debate we have seen that information on mental health systems and psychological support for survivors of FGM is scarce in many countries, especially in Africa. Therefore, the data and analysis that you will see in the thematic note focuses mainly on Europe where more studies, therapies and solutions are developed and available.

Thus, we hope that members’ contributions and exchanges will help shed a light to the situation with regard to mental health and well-being and the work done in other regions.

Three main questions have been raised to members’ attention.

  • Do you know of any special programmes dealing with FGM and mental health in your countries?
  • Which grassroot solutions are used to offer better mental health care?
  • How could governments improve access to Mental  health care for FGM survivors ?

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