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1800 My Options 1,300 Calls

Providing Victoria women with reproductive support and options when and where they need it


Minister for Health Jill Hennessy recently visited 1800 My Options, Victoria’s first ever sexual and reproductive health phone line and information service to celebrate more than 1300 calls in its first three months!

Reaching more than 1,300 over a short time demonstrates how essential this service is for Victorian women. 1800 My Options is women-centered, impartial and non-judgmental. It provides an individualised response and offers callers pathways to clinical services such as contraception, pharmacy services, counselling support, termination providers and a range of other services.

“1800 My Options is making a real difference breaking down the barriers and reducing stigma with free, accessible information about contraception, pregnancy options and reproductive health” said Jill Hennessy, Health Minister.

Both the phone line and online information are part of Victoria’s first–ever Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy (2017-2020), which is supported by 6.6 million in Labor Government funding. The strategy sets out key actions to reduce barriers and service gaps that affect women’s access to reproductive and sexual health services.

Below: Minister for Health Jill Hennessy meets with members of the 1800 My Options Team.

Cancer service marks 15th anniversary

Counterpart, the Women’s Health Victoria service that connects, supports and informs women with breast or a gynaecological cancer, has celebrated its 15th anniversary. ‘Since 2003, we’ve supported women affected by breast or a gynaecological cancer more than 30,000 times,’ said Support Programs Manager Dianne Hill.

Article: Health Victoria (12/06/2018)

Lucky we Victorian women already had this sorted right?

Rita Butera, the head of Women’s Health Victoria, says our state leads the way in abortion law reform. But the work is not finished: “We’re not making sure our health system meets the needs of women to get an abortion when and where they need it.”

Article: The Age (10/06/2018)

Victoria’s first sexual and reproductive health helpline

The Government’s new helpline for Victorian women seeking timely and trusted information on sexual and reproductive health issues will start taking callers this month. 1800 My Options will provide Victorians with sexual and reproductive health information, and direct them to clinical services such as contraception, pharmacy services, counselling support, termination providers and a range of other services.

Media Release: Victoria. Minister for Health (08/03/2018)

More sexual and reproductive services for Victorian women

To mark Women’s Health Week, Minister for Health Jill Hennessy announced plans to establish eight new family planning centres throughout Victoria – including four regional locations – over three years. The centres will deliver timely, affordable, locally-based sexual and reproductive health advice to all local women.

“In addition, Victorian women – no matter where they live – will be able to access expert, evidence-based advice with Women’s Health Victoria chosen to establish and operate Victoria’s first pregnancy support help line.”

“The announcements follow the Labor Government’s launch of Victoria’s first-ever Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Plan earlier this year, supported by $6.6 million in new funding.”

Media Release: Victoria. Minister for Health (07/09/2017)

Counterpart support service provides friends indeed to friends in need

Women’s Health Victoria recently welcomed over 100 guests to the launch of Counterpart as the new name for cancer support service BreaCan.

“We believe Counterpart – women supporting women with cancer – tells women who we are and what we do, and puts peer support at the heart of the service,’ said Women’s Health Victoria Executive Director – Rita Butera.”

Article: Health Victoria (13/07/17) – page 13

When women don't like their vulvas

“Concern that their vulvas aren’t "normal” is prompting a growing number of women to have surgery. This has been the focus of Curtin University Psychologist and Researcher Dr Gemma Sharp, one RN’s top five scientists under 40.

Dr Amy Webster from Women’s Health Victoria also speaks with Life Matters, as well as “Tilly”, a mother concerned about her daughter’s interest in this surgery, and “Emma”, a young woman who has had labiaplasty."

Radio Interview: ABC Radio National (11/07/2017)

Knowing your labia on Breakfasters

What does a “normal” labia look like? What is driving the increased demand of labioplasty? These are some of the questions leading to the creation of The Labia Library, an initiative from Women’s Health Victoria. It provides women with access to unaltered images of women’s genitalia, in order to dispel concerns and myths due to the rise of censored and altered images in pornography. Dr Amy Webster of Women’s Health Victoria joins the Breakfasters to discuss this vital resource.

Radio Interview: 3RRR Radio Melbourne (18/04/2017)

The most inspiring and thought-provoking tweets about International Women's Day

“March 8 is International Women’s Day, and in 2017 the theme is ‘Be Bold for Change’. We have collected the smartest, funniest, most inspiring and most thought-provoking tweets, so you can see how people are marking the occasion around the world.”

Article: SBS Online (03/2017)

A deeper perception of health data

A vital women’s’ health programme in Victoria is being boosted through an improved solution that provides easy visualisation of data.

“Access to reliable data is critical to our efforts to improve health outcomes. It is an important tool in program and policy design and evaluation. Until now we haven’t been able to easily access gender-specific data on key health issues,” said Rita Butera, Executive Director of Women’s Health Victoria.

“The Victorian Women’s Health Atlas makes visible the differing experiences of women and men and provides an evidence base for planning and monitoring which will contribute to lasting improvements in women’s health.”

Article: Government Technology Review (07/2016) – page 17

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