Statement of Support: Victorian Women’s Health Services Join the Call to Address the Crisis in Women’s Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) has joined with all Women’s Health Services (WHS) across Victoria to support the Her Mental Health Campaign from the HER Centre

Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) 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 intersecting impacts of sexism, gender bias and other vectors of marginalisation including race and class. Migrant and refugee women have poorer mental health outcomes and lower levels of access to the mental health system. 

“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 must address the impacts of gendered inequality on women’s mental health, and it must respond to the specific needs of migrant and refugee women. The impact of gendered settlement stress, social isolation and racism are rarely addressed by our health system which creates barriers to mental health care. The health system should be accessible to all regardless of visa status, and it must provide multilingual and multicultural services, both online and in person” says Dr Adele Murdolo, Executive Director of MCWH. 

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 accessible, culturally safe and responsive specialist women’s mental health clinics, for clinical trials of new treatments for women, and education for the general public and health professionals on the gendered nature of mental health, and how that specifically impact migrant women” says Dr Adele Murdolo.

“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 gendered lens to health and wellbeing. It delivers outcomes for women, and value for our state.”  

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.