Improve Women’s Mental Health

Our vision is a Loddon Mallee where all women thrive and have access to safe and appropriate mental health information and services where they feel supported.

Women’s Health Loddon Mallee partner with local government, health services and other organisations  to capture experiences and advocate for the needs of rural and regional women to be included in service design and delivery and to identify and implement place-based solutions to support women’s mental health and wellbeing across the region.

We aim to explore how women are connecting with community and any barriers to social connection they may be experiencing in order to inform WHLM’s ongoing advocacy and support for women’s mental wellbeing.

Snapshot - Women's Mental Health

Some of the specific barriers that women in the Loddon Mallee can experience when seeking information and support for their mental health include:

  1. People in regional and remote communities are often unable to access conveniently located and private mental health services and need to travel long distances on short notice to access support. This incurs additional costs that may be unaffordable and cause economic strain for households and individuals. 
  2. Many women on migrant and international student visas are ineligible for Medicare and therefore cannot access subsidised or free mental health services.
  3. Women from migrant and refugee backgrounds experience barriers to health information in their own language and services that are culturally appropriate and inclusive.
  4. LGBTIQ+ communities experience stigma and discrimination when trying to access mental health services and other supports.
  5. Stigma and discrimination associated with mental health issues and help seeking can prevent women from getting the care that they need in times of crises.
  6. Considerable out-of-pocket expense for safe and appropriate mental health support, which disproportionately impacts people from low-socioeconomic backgrounds.

We work with our partners to promote responsive, affirming and appropriate service delivery and information dissemination that addresses these barriers.

Women in Crises

Crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, 2019-20 bushfires, and 2021 floods have disproportionately impacted women’s health and wellbeing, exacerbating pre-existing gendered inequalities.  Women have been more at risk of economic insecurity and job losses and have also taken on a greater share of care responsibilities for children and other family and community members.

Impact of COVID-19

5 Ways to Wellbeing:

We spoke to women in our region about the impact of COVID on their mental health and wellbeing through a series of focus groups in 2020.  Read the Summary of Findings HERE.

We also spoke to local women on camera about the 5 Ways to Wellbeing through the pandemic. View the short films HERE.

Centering Our Voices Audio Series

‘Centering Our Voices’ is an 8-part audio series aimed at raising the voices of women in the Loddon Mallee region that are living with a compromised immune system, or are carers of someone with compromised immunity.

 

Resources

Take a look at our full collection of resources to find research, reports, submissions and more around improving women’s mental health.

Podcast

In this podcast episode, Mental Health Promotion Lead, Alison Jones, discusses the gendered mental health and wellbeing impacts of disaster on women in our region.

We spoke to local women on camera about the 5 Ways to Wellbeing through the pandemic. View the short films series below.

Take Notice with Aunty Lyn

“Ya Gotta Have a Bit of Fun”

Be Active with Abi, Ivy + Gen

“Inspire Your Family”

Keep Learning with Amber

“Art in Flexibility”

Connect with Nokomi

“Elephants Mourn”

Give with Ginny

“Be A Worm”