At today’s Defining Equity: Gender Equity Practice and Exchange Conference, GEN VIC will launch its report “This conversation is not over” Women’s Mental Health During COVID-19.
In partnership with all 12 women’s health services, GEN VIC has led a research project that interviewed over 115 women and gender diverse people across every region of Victoria to ask them about their experiences of COVID-19 and the impact this has had on their mental health and wellbeing. This consisted of 15 focus groups and 1 survey with women and gender diverse people.
This conversation is not over, highlights the mental health consequences of COVID-19 on women, with quotations taken straight from participants.
“This research is based on the lived experience of women. It’s their voices sharing their experiences and making suggestions for change. Women are struggling across multiple fronts of this pandemic. They’re the frontline care workers at risk of illness and death, have experienced significant job losses in hospitality, retail and the arts, carry a triple load including paid work, care work and the mental labour of home schooling. Victorian women already had incredibly high lifetime diagnosis of anxiety and depression. COVID-19 is exacerbating this problem” said, Tanja Kovac, Gender Equity CEO
“As one participant said, the conversation about mental health during COVID-19 is far from over. We’re in the 6th Lockdown as we battle the dangerous Delta variant of the virus. The stress of this time in women’s lives is not going away and now borders on chronic. Recovery will have a long tail” Said Ms Kovac
“Despite these challenges, women have continued to show immense resilience throughout the pandemic. We hope to see adequate investment in women’s health services and in dedicated mental health response to continue the important work preventing poor mental health outcomes for women in their communities. Pilot projects undertaken last year investing for the first time in mental health primary prevention for women show promise” said Ms Kovac
The report makes 24 recommendations for a gender equal mental health recovery and reform including:
- Funding to support women’s mental health is an urgent priority – both preventative and acute services.
- The consequences of isolation and loneliness must be addressed through targeted project funding.
- Free or subsidised childcare is essential to wellbeing of women.
- Funding for Family Violence prevention and response is needed to make sure women and children are able to leave violence safely.
- Access to disability support services must be made more accessible and equitable for women living with disability.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, LGBTIQ/trans/gender identity communities and Migrant and refugee women need additional, appropriate and safe provision of services.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Tanja Kovac, CEO GEN VIC, Mobile: 0419 910 577, firstname.lastname@example.org