Women are being reminded to book important health check-ups to take care of their physical and mental health during this Women’s Health Week (September 5-11).
Nationals Minister for Women, Minister for Regional Health and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said women may have delayed or avoided appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they should now take the time to focus on their health and wellbeing.
“We know women have been under greater stress during the pandemic, with increased pressures on their work, home and social life potentially taking a toll on their mental and physical health,” Mrs Taylor said.
“Women need to make their health a priority this Women’s Health Week as delaying routine check-ups may cause what was initially a minor health concern to develop into a more serious issue.”
NSW Health provides a range of services and programs targeted to addressing the health needs of women including cervical and breast cancer screening, fertility treatments, menopause support and mental health services.
“Women who are overdue for a cervical or breast cancer screening are urged to book an appointment as soon as possible as these tests are the best way to detect the early signs of cancer, which could save your life,” Mrs Taylor said.
BreastScreen NSW recommends mammograms for women aged 50-74. You can book an appointment by calling 13 20 50 or visiting the website www.breastscreen.nsw.gov.au
Women aged under 40 who have a family history of breast cancer should talk to their GP.
Mrs Taylor said women should also prioritise their mental health and wellbeing by accessing mental health support if they suffer from depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts.
“Good mental health is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Staying well is also important for women who may be struggling with infertility, pregnancy, motherhood, or menopause,” Mrs Taylor said.
Women’s Health Week is an annual national event, run by not-for-profit organisation Jean Hailes for Women’s Health.
CEO of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health Janet Michelmore said there are more than 400 events happening around NSW and over 2,300 events throughout Australia as part of the campaign.
“This week encourages women to check in on their health and is also a reminder that it’s ok to put themselves first,” Ms Michelmore said.
Visit www.womenshealthweek.com.au for events near you.
If you need to talk to someone immediately, the Mental Health Line is available 24/7 on 1800 011 511. You can also find other mental health support and services for women on the NSW Health website.
As part of the 2022-23 Budget, the NSW Nationals in the state government announced a number of new initiatives to support women’s health, including:
• $80 million to improve affordability and access to fertility treatments, including a cash rebate of up to $2,000 for around 12,000 women accessing private fertility clinics.
• $40 million to establish 16 menopause services across NSW to support women with the management of severe or prolonged symptoms.