Australia's HER Centre Seizes the Initiative for Women's Mental Health

By: GWL Team | Tuesday, 20 December 2022

At HER Centre Australia, the nation's most innovative centre that integrates health care, education, and research in women's mental health, women's mental illness will receive the prominence it deserves.

The HER Centre carries out research, provides care for women, and raises awareness of difficulties with women's mental health that might affect them at any age. On October 20, 2022, a free public lecture held in Melbourne Town Hall served as its official debut.

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni AM, Director of the HER Centre and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Monash University, Associate Professor Caroline Gurvich, Mariska Meldrum, a mother of three who has lived with mental illness, and television presenter Jo Stanley were among the speakers at the event.

They also gave important perspectives on the difficulties women encounter throughout their lives and how the center's specialised interventions and therapies would significantly improve the quality of life for all women who are dealing with mental illness.

MAPrc, the Alfred Hospital's Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre, has been conducting research under the direction of Monash University for more than 30 years. MAPrc also served as the impetus for the opening of Cabrini Women's Mental Health, Australia's first private, women's-only mental health hospital.

For far too long, according to Professor Kulkarni, women's mental health issues have gone undiagnosed or, in some situations, underdiagnosed. Furthermore, they hadn't been approached consistently or deliberately. She claimed that for many women, the epidemic had made these problems worse.

The HER Centre will provide a ground-breaking strategy for improving the mental health of women through a model that integrates public advocacy, education, research, and health. Due to studies including women who were treated at its clinics, its medical experts and researchers will create gender-specific therapies and interventions that will be promptly translated.

Researchers at the HER Centre are focusing on hormone-based therapy for menopausal depression in women. New types of oestrogen are being used in clinical studies to treat women while educating healthcare professionals on its value and importance.

Women endure anxiety, depression, and eating disorders at rates that are approximately twice as high for women as they are for men. Complex interactions between biological, psychological, and social factors contribute to their mental disease.

This implies that illnesses including melancholy, anxiety, trauma disorders, addictions, and self-harm have unique causes in women and distinct male remedies.

Violence, an imbalance of power, low earnings, and unfavourable cultural expectations are environmental variables that have an effect on many women and can lead to mental illness.

Women's health issues will be addressed by the HER Centre, including menopause and mood disorders linked to the menstrual cycle, bipolar disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, complicated PTSD, eating disorders, domestic violence, depression, postpartum depression, and schizophrenia/psychosis.

If novel therapies like cannabis oil are found to be successful, it will be at the forefront of such developments. Additionally, it will provide training for medical professionals, including psychiatrists and general practitioners, to assist them comprehend conditions like menstrual and menopausal depression.

According to Professor Kulkarni, understanding neurobiology—the way that nerve cells are arranged into useful circuits that process information and mediate behavior—will help us better comprehend mental disease.

A free public lecture featuring Professor Kulkarni, Associate Professor Gurvich, a clinical neuropsychologist and the head of the Cognition and Hormones Group, and radio and television host Jo Stanley will serve as the official opening of the HER Centre Australia, which stands for Health, Education and Research, on October 20, 2022.