Mental Health & Wellbeing
Why is mental health and wellbeing a priority?
In Australia, more disability, dependence, and time out of the workforce can be attributed to mental illness than any other health problem. Gender roles and the social context of women’s lives influence their mental health and wellbeing, making their mental health needs unique from that of men’s. The mental health and wellbeing of women is one of our priorities because:
- Mental illness is responsible for approximately 15% of the total disease burden in Victorian women 1.
- Almost one in ten Victorian women seek professional help for a mental health related problem 2.
- Women are more likely to suffer with more than one mental illness at a time (co-morbidity), which is linked to increased severity of mental illness and increased disability 3.
- Mental health is intrinsically linked to physical health 4. For example, depression is one of the leading causes of disability in Victorian women and is associated with cardiovascular disease and stroke 2.
Improving the mental health and wellbeing of women also enhances many other aspects of their lives.
What we do to promote mental health and wellbeing
Women’s Health Victoria works towards increasing the action on the social determinants of the mental health and wellbeing of women. These include access to economic resources; freedom from discrimination and violence; and social connectedness.
We work with a range of individuals and organisations whose work impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of Victorian women. This includes:
- Victorian Government departments
- Members of Parliament
- Key policy and opinion leaders
- Information Providers
- Individuals and organisations working directly in, or in areas interconnected with, women’s health
- Researchers and educators.
Mental health and wellbeing resources
Browse our publications and resources relating to the mental health and wellbeing of women.
- DHS (2005) Victorian Burden of Disease Study: Mortality and morbidity in 2001. Department of Human Services. Melbourne. Available online at: http://www.health.vic.gov.au/healthstatus/bodvic/bod_current.htm. ↩
- Rural and Regional Health and Aged Care Services, Department of Human Services (2008) Victorian Population Health Survey 2007: Selected findings, Victorian Government Department of Human Services, Melbourne. Available online at: http://www.health.vic.gov.au/healthstatus/downloads/vic_health_survey_07_findings.pdf. ↩
- Astbury, J (2001) Gender Disparities in Mental Health. From Mental Health: A Call for Actions by World Health Ministers. Ministerial Roundtable 2001: 54th World Health Assembly, World Health Organisation, Geneva. Available online at: http://www.who.int/mental_health/media/en/249.pdf. ↩
- VicHealth (2005) A plan for action 2005-2007: promoting mental health and wellbeing. VicHealth. Melbourne. ↩
Content Reviewed: 2 October 2009
Last Updated: 2 October 2009