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Office of the Surgeon General (US). Surgeon General's Workshop on Women's Mental Health: November 30-December 1, 2005, Denver, Colorado. Rockville (MD): Office of the Surgeon General (US); 2006.

Cover of Surgeon General's Workshop on Women's Mental Health

Surgeon General's Workshop on Women's Mental Health: November 30-December 1, 2005, Denver, Colorado.

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Appendix BCommuniqués and Toolkits: Ideas from Leadership Interviews and Facilitated Discussions

Breakout group participants will develop recommendations for Surgeon General’s communiqués and toolkits on issues affecting the mental health of women and girls. These products might include some of the following ideas suggested in the leadership interviews and facilitated discussions held earlier this year:

  • A People’s Piece booklet for consumers on women’s mental health, similar to companion booklets for recent Surgeon General’s reports on smoking and bone health
  • A TEN TIPS series for consumers and providers on issues of concern for the mental health of women or girls
  • Booklets on what we know about sex and gender differences in major mental disorders, risk factors, violence, stigma, trauma, etc.
  • Booklets on best practices and promising models for professionals and policymakers (e.g., “Current Issues in Women’s Mental Health”)
  • Interactive Web-based toolkits for consumers and professionals with links to resources (e.g., OWH’s BodyWise toolkit on nutrition, physical activity, and eating disorders), OWH’s BodyWorks toolkit on a range of health issues and questions for girls, AoA’s new depression self-management toolkit, HRSA’s nutrition and physical activity toolkit for Bright Futures, HRSA’s new toolkit promoting emotional and spiritual wellness, model programs, and white papers

Other ideas include suggestions for toolkits targeted specifically to consumers and families and to professionals:

Toolkits for Consumers and Families

  • Information about specific mental disorders (e.g., prevention, symptoms, treatment options)
  • Information about breaking down the barriers for constant re-enrollment for Medicaid (e.g., every 6 months for some States) that includes guidelines about what must be done to access publicly funded services, when, and by whom
  • A community-based resource directory
  • Information about self-advocacy (e.g., how to ask questions, what questions to ask), patients’ rights, confidentiality, and HIPAA
  • Information on issues that affect only women or primarily women (e.g., eating disorders, domestic violence, trauma, abuse, depression and anxiety)
  • A self-screening tool or checklist

Toolkits for Professionals

  • Culturally competent screening
  • Community-based resource directory to distribute to consumers
  • Community-based resource directory for providers (e.g., who to go to for questions and advice)
  • Issues that affect only women or primarily women (e.g., eating disorders, domestic violence, trauma, violence and abuse, depression and anxiety)
  • Appropriate waiting room environments (e.g., showing a stress management video instead of Jerry Springer)
  • Confidentiality and HIPAA
  • Provider empowerment
  • Provider support and self-care (e.g., how to deal with one’s own stigma, how to seek support for one’s own response to people’s distress and one’s own wellness)

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