Honouring mental health in women’s health week

Digital artwork created by one of the amazing young people in our Satellite community, Georgia Willmott. This piece reflects global gender equity and justice through the use of the rings around Earth, which symbolise gender. The pink ring highlights women and acknowledges their struggles.

It’s Women’s Health Week.

The Jean Hailes Women’s Health Week is a week dedicated to all women across Australia to make good health a priority. At Satellite, we consider social and emotional wellbeing as the foundation for physical and mental health. Many components can contribute to positive wellbeing, including culture, creativity, connection.

To celebrate all women and mark the importance of honouring differing experiences of accessing good health care, Satellite reached out to eight women in Australia who have each made (or are making) a significant contribution to women’s mental health and wellbeing.

We asked these eight women, “What is your one wish for women’s mental health?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“To create the social and emotional changes that help connect us rather than separate, and continue to dismantle the patriarchal mindsets that we have all unconsciously taken on through dismissing women’s thoughts and feelings as a weakness or pathology, instead of telling a story of what’s happened to us.”

Alison Elliott is a Clinical Family Therapist and Workforce Development Trainer, Indigenous Team, at The Bouverie Centre. Alison has family connections to Wiradjuri country and also has strong connections to her Celtic heritage.

“Wishing that when women have to be admitted to hospital for serious mental health issues they be in a safe, purpose built, adequately resourced facility and treated with loving care.”

Beth Wilson AM is the former president of the Mental Health Review Board, served as the Health Services Commissioner of Victoria from 1997 – 2012, and is the Patron of Satellite Foundation.

“My one wish for women’s mental health is that our mental health system grows to be safe and accessible for women from all different backgrounds, ages, identities, cultures and lived experiences. This means ensuring our workforce, practices and spaces are safe and welcoming for all women, and that all women feel they have access to the opportunity to heal and be cared for when they need it most.”

Chelsea Lang is a Director at YLab, a social enterprise that trains and employs young people with lived experience in co-design and consulting to change systems they have been impacted by.

“My one wish for women’s mental health is that belittling terms such as ‘moody’, ’emotional’ and ‘dramatic’ that are still commonly used to label mental health in women can be exchanged for more open conversation that can shed light on the true complex nature of the mental health of women. Hopefully creating a safer and more welcoming environment for women to feel supported in this journey.”

Niru Ramasamy has been a Director on the Board of Satellite since 2018. Niru trained in social work and human services and has held various roles within the community sector, working with children and young people both in Melbourne and abroad.

“My one wish for women’s mental health is that all women, regardless of where they live in the world and what their experiences are, can be listened to and receive only respect, care and compassion. And that all women are connected with safe, healing spaces that honour their mental health, wellbeing and creativity.”

Rose Cuff is Executive Director of Satellite Foundation. As an Occupational Therapist, Rose has worked in child, adolescent, and adult mental health services since 1987 and was state-wide coordinator of the Families where a Parent has a Mental Illness program at The Bouverie Centre.

“My wish is full access, equity and inclusion in processes and outcomes relating to women’s health. This includes women in all aspects of diversity which includes (by no means limited to) their diverse body shapes and sizes, sex characteristics, level of income, occupation, women of colour, sexual and romantic orientation, ability, cultural and ethnic background, First Nations, newly arrived including refugee, neurodivergent and more.”

Sally Goldner AM is a leading and pioneering educator specialising in LGBTIQA+ diversity, a life coach, public speaker, and qualified accountant of 35 years. She is a founding member of Transgender Victoria Inc, Treasurer of Bisexual Alliance Victoria Inc and Treasurer of Transfamily Inc.

“My one wish for women’s mental health is that anyone who needs it has access to timely, appropriate and supportive mental health care so women of all ages can flourish.”

Sophie Scott is a medical reporter with the ABC, broadcaster, author, and Adjunct Associate Professor. You can view Sophie’s mental health resources on her Instagram.

“My one wish for Women’s Health Week is for global gender equity and justice. Being genderqueer and feeling more on the feminine spectrum, I acknowledge that globally there is much work to do. Mainly reflecting on what is happening in Afghanistan, I know that the quick eradication of women’s and genderqueer rights is a constant battle, so we must keep fighting for equity and justice.

Georgia Willmott is an artist who specialises in illustration with watercolour, gouache, acrylic, pen and digital mediums, and one of Satellite’s amazing young people. They have recently started a community art organisation called Art.Kind that runs affordable, ongoing art classes for every level.

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