If we assess data from the Women in Australia 2004 report released by Kay Patterson, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues, the current state of the mental health status of Australian women is of particular concern.
Older Australian women present with the highest rate of anxiety disorders with 16% of women 45-54 years of age reporting Agorophobia, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Social Phobia (page 172).
This data is also disturbing when we look at overall mental health figures for women. Women have higher rates (than men) of mental and behavioural problems (page 171).
These include Bipolar Affective Disorder, Depression, Dysthymia, Hypomania and Mania (page 173).
I wonder how much of a causal link can be drawn between mental health wellness and workforce participation.
With outcomes such as these The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act, introduced into Parliament on 22 September 1999, replacing the Affirmative Action Act 1986 gathers much dust under the Prime Minister and his Minister assisting.
I would advocate for more mental health initiatives starting with the tripling of Community health centre funding. CHS centres could offer stress relief massages, reading and blogging groups and other ‘pampering’ events.
Workplace counseling options could be expanded to include a monthly ‘celebrating achievements’ session. Mentoring programs, a real commitment to work-life balance…
"All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."