Victorian Women’s Health Services Join The Call To Address The Crisis In Women’s Mental Health And Wellbeing.

19 April 2023

Women’s Health In the North has joined with all Women’s Health Services (WHS) across Victoria to support the ’Her Mental Health’ Campaign from the HER Centre, for a specific approach to women’s mental health, and the funding of more services, research, treatments and education of women’s specific mental health needs.

The mental health of women and girls is influenced by the intersection of sex, gender and other social factors.

‘The Women’s Health Services advocate for a well-funded, dynamic and thriving public health system; a system that supports the health of all our community. Our health system is not doing this if the specific needs of women are not being recognised,’ says WHIN’s CEO Helen Riseborough.

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni AM, Director of HER Centre Australia and Head of Psychiatry at Monash University says, ‘Current treatment options for women living with mental illness and mental ill health are not good enough. Too many times women receive the wrong diagnosis or the wrong treatment, or there just isn’t a good enough treatment option available yet.’

The Women’s Health Services are joining the HER Mental Health Campaign and will be promoting their support to partners, members and the broader community. In addition, the services will collectively call for increased investment in health promotion of women’s mental wellbeing.

‘We are supporting HER Centre’s call for specialist women’s mental health clinics, for clinical trials of new treatments for women, and education for general public and health professionals on the gendered nature of mental health,’ says Ms Riseborough.

“The Victorian Women’s Health Services have over 30 years of expertise and impact in improving the health and wellbeing of all women across Victoria. We know how important it is to apply a gender lens to health and wellbeing. It delivers outcomes for women, and value for our state.”

“If our government invests in a wellbeing economy, as has happened in Wales and New Zealand*, we will no longer have a vastly overstretched public mental health system” says Ms Riseborough.

The Women’s Health Services have developed a Theory of Change for women’s mental health and wellbeing, which sets out how to effectively address women’s mental health issues over the short-, medium- and longer-term using gender-transformative practice. Based on the latest evidence and research, the Theory of Change takes a population-level approach to address the decline in women’s mental health. A copy of the Theory of Change can be found here.

*“Integrating wellbeing into the business of government: The feasibility of innovative legal and policy measures to achieve sustainable development in Australia” The George Institute for Global Health, VIC Health (2021)

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