HER Centre Australia: A Catalyst for Transforming Women’s Mental Well-being

Monash University’s HER Centre Australia is set to host ‘Metamorphosis,’ the first Asia-Pacific Conference on Women’s Mental Health, from October 11th to 13th. This event will explore mental health across various stages of a woman’s life, including youth, adulthood, reproduction, and later years, presenting the latest research and knowledge. The conference’s goal is to inspire change and educate healthcare providers, philanthropists, consumers, and the public in the Asia-Pacific region.

Asia-Pacific Conference on Women’s Mental Health: Groundbreaking Research and New Treatments

HER Centre Australia’s Director and keynote speaker, Professor Jayashri Kulkarni AM, emphasized the need for a gender-focused approach to improve mental health outcomes for women. This includes enhancing the understanding of mental health issues throughout a woman’s life, introducing new treatments and services, and increasing awareness among health practitioners and communities about the influence of trauma, hormones, and pandemic lockdowns.

The conference will feature discussions on various topics, including the impact of mental illness on women, the use of psychedelics in mental illness treatment, neuroscience applications in eating disorder treatment, ADHD in females, mental health issues for migrants, refugees, and neurodivergent women, and the perception of grief among women and men.

Additionally, the event will delve into new approaches to eating disorders, the mental impact of violence against women, menopause treatments, and mental health during menopause, and positive aging. Experts will present the latest research findings, including studies on the relationship between sleep and mental health in young women, treatment approaches for postnatal depression and psychosis, and innovative treatments for Borderline Personality Disorder.

The conference aims to foster collaborations across medical disciplines and empower women with lived experiences, equipping healthcare providers with the tools and knowledge to better diagnose and treat female patients. Partners for this inaugural event include Monash University, the International Association for Women’s Mental Health, Cabrini Health, and Alfred Health.

The Ministry of Health and Population in Nepal is working to identify individuals with mental health issues by enlisting the support of female community health volunteers (FCHVs) across the country. They plan to provide orientation training on mental health to FCHVs, who are instrumental in public health programs in Nepal. This initiative is expected to help identify and provide timely treatment for thousands of mental health patients, particularly in remote areas.

Mental health disorders have a significant impact in Nepal, with a high rate of suicide and a lack of awareness and discussion about mental health issues due to social stigma. Studies have revealed that about 13 percent of Nepalis suffer from some form of mental disorder, and the country faces a shortage of mental health experts. Suicide rates are alarming, and experts believe the rising cost of living and struggles with basic needs have contributed to an increase in mental health problems.

In summary, the Asia-Pacific Conference on Women’s Mental Health seeks to advance research, promote gender-focused treatments, and improve mental health outcomes for women. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in Nepal is leveraging female community health volunteers to identify and support individuals with mental health issues, aiming to address the significant mental health challenges faced in the country.