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Women's Mental Health Clinic
Why women’s mental health?
Women’s mental health has been overlooked as a special area of mental health requiring specifically tailored understanding and treatment for women suffering with a variety of mental illnesses. Medicine has remained somewhat 'gender blind' to date, and diagnoses plus treatments are often based on the archetypical patient being a caucasian male. This often disservices women who need consideration of their biological, gender role and different responses to treatment.
The women’s mental health clinic provides tertiary consultation in the form of second opinions by expert psychiatrists and psychologists for women with a variety of psychiatric disorders. In particular the impact of hormonal changes and other reproductive factors are carefully considered in the management of mental illnesses.
Women with disorders such as perimenopausal depression, menstrual cycle related mood disturbances, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and many other illnesses are offered innovative treatments utilising hormone modulation techniques and other new approaches.
Watch the Women's Mental Health Clinic team discuss their work here.
Mode of consultation
The main aim of the clinic is to provide an overview of the woman’s current mental state and functioning, diagnosis, past treatments and offer suggestions for new or different treatments. We aim to use a biopsychosocial or holistic approach to really help the whole woman and her family. To do this, we spend at least one hour with each woman, discussing her history, her observations and views about her illness and previous treatments. We are also keen to involve family members in the consultation – but only if she wishes. A letter summarising the consultation is then sent to the referring doctor and a copy is also sent to the woman. We are also happy to send a copy of the letter to other health professionals, involved in the woman’s treatment - but only with her permission.
We aim to empower the woman by listening to her - thereby validating her observations, discussing treatment options and providing educational material plus offering an opportunity to participate in research studies if she wishes.
We also aim to assist her treating team by providing a second opinion, the latest research information and new options for treatment. We do not take over the management of the woman, but hope to add to her treatment program.
Referral to the clinic
Women seeking a second opinion require a referral from a general practitioner, or other medical practitioner, or from other mental health practitioners.
The women’s mental health clinic runs once per week on Thursday mornings.
Dr Rosie Worsley
Medical student observer (only with patients' permission)
Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre
607 St Kilda Rd
Professor Jayashri Kulkarni
Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, MAPrc
Tel: 03 9076 6924
Fax: 03 9076 8545