Stuart Ayres 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.
“Chatting to the women in my office here are some of their top tips,”
- When you reach that special milestone 50th birthday make sure you do your bowel test when it arrives in the mail and book in for a mammogram,
- Take part in strengthening classes when getting older to negate falls and maintain a healthy diet,
- Heart disease is one of the biggest causes of death in women and the symptoms are not always obvious, so can often be overlooked. As we get older, it’s really important to book in with the GP for cardiovascular screening to make sure our heart is working as it should and identify any issues if not.
“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,” Stuart Ayres 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. Women aged under 40 who have a family history of breast cancer should talk to their GP.
Minister for Women, Regional Health and Mental Health Bronnie 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.
Visit www.womenshealthweek 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 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.