New NSUN research report: Menstrual health in psychiatric inpatient settings

NSUN has today published a new report exploring experiences of menstruation within psychiatric inpatient settings. This study examined staff and patient perspectives to consider experiences of menstrual health in psychiatric inpatient settings and to develop an understanding of how patients’ needs can be best supported.

The report was written by Hat Porter (they/them) and informed and motivated by their lived experiences of menstruation in mental health wards.

This survivor-led research, commissioned by the National Survivor User Network, found that patients in psychiatric hospitals are often insufficiently supported with needs relating to their menstrual health.

There is a lack of research, policy, and guidance regarding how psychiatric inpatient services should cater for the needs of patients who menstruate. This research project aims to counter this absence of information by examining the perspectives of people with lived experience and staff to consider experiences of menstrual health needs being met, or not met, in psychiatric inpatient settings.

By building an understanding of patients’ experiences, this report aims to inform subsequent actions and campaigns to address the menstrual injustices patients face, including through the production of patient-led guidelines to outline tangible actions mental health service providers and regulators can take to improve support for patients.

The project involved online questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and reviews of NHS mental health trust policies and procedures. Following data collection and analysis, a focus group was held with people with lived experience of menstruation and treatment in psychiatric hospitals to develop guidelines for services.

This report is intended for a wide audience. It may be of interest to people with lived experience, people working within mental health settings, and people working for organisations and bodies involved in the development and regulation of mental health services. It is also relevant to people who are interested in menstrual health and period poverty research, policy and campaigns.

Read the report and sign up for the launch event on the 12th June by clicking the button below.