Whv Calls For Gender Sensitive Approach To Mental Health

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13th October 2010, 03:28pm - Views: 1519

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Women’s Health Victoria Reg. No A0029795W ABN 33365284944

Level 8, 255 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC Australia 3000


Postal Address GPO Box 1160, Melbourne VIC Australia 3001

Media Release

Wednesday 13th October, 2010

WHV calls for gender sensitive approach to mental health

Victorian women’s 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 Women’s 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 women’s 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 men’s 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 women’s 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

121 636

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