Womens Health Victoria Reg. No A0029795W ABN 33365284944
Level 8, 255 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC Australia 3000
(03) 9662 3755 F (03) 9663 7955 E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.whv.org.au
Postal Address GPO Box 1160, Melbourne VIC Australia 3001
Wednesday 13th October, 2010
WHV calls for gender sensitive approach to mental health
Victorian womens health policy experts and advocates have today encouraged a gender
sensitive approach to policy and practice around mental health, as part of Mental Health
Week Oct 10 16th 2010.
Executive Director of Womens Health Victoria, Ms Marilyn Beaumont, said that it was wrong
to separate mental and physical health, as the two are often intertwined.
Mental health actually makes up 15 per cent of Victorian womens total disease burden, so
we need to ensure we have effective ways of addressing and targeting mental health.
Women who suffer from poor mental health often have physical health conditions and vice
The use of a gender sensitive understanding in treatment methods has proven far more
effective than the blanket approach that is usually deployed in the treatment of mental
To ensure a high quality of care, policy makers ad service providers in both the mental
health and physical health sectors need to consider the relationship between mind and body,
and the differences between women and mens experiences.
Women have higher rates of correspondence between mental health conditions such as
depression and anxiety with chronic physical illnesses such as cardio-vascular disease and
type 2 diabetes compared to men.
It is crucial to ensure that we are getting the right sorts of treatment to those who need it.
Otherwise we risk piecemeal or ineffectual treatment which could otherwise be far more
effective, said Ms Beaumont.
Women with mental health conditions need appropriate services that are relevant and
effective and acknowledge that those needs are different to those of men.
Our ten point plan indicates the need for a gender sensitive approach to policy and practice
to enable the development of effective intervention and evaluation.
For more information on the Ten Point Plan for womens health see: http://whv.org.au/publications-
For further information contact:
WHV Executive Director Marilyn Beaumont on 0419 597 516 or Media: Anaya Latter on 0432