Jean hailes

This week is Jean Hailes for Women’s Health Women’s Health Week. (Yes, there’s a lot of women and health in that sentence, but given it’s the focus of the week, let’s work with it.)

I quite love the theme of the week which is Let’s Talk. The idea is that we get rid of the elephants in the room and talk about health issues that we sometimes find tough to discuss. It’s a great concept! Having people opening up – or at least being able to access information – about health issues that are sometimes not discussed is really important. Plus, there are gorgeous pink elephants all over the promotional materials and that can only be considered a good thing!

Now clearly, I don’t have an issue speaking about health issues. I very openly talk about my experiences living with diabetes. I have willingly and candidly spoken about fertility issues and miscarriage. I have also discussed the body image concerns that I have lived with for most of my life. Mental health is frequently discussed on my blog – usually in relation to diabetes.

But while I am happy to bang on about any health concern that I may be dealing with, that isn’t the case for everyone. That’s why this week is an important one.

And it is why we need people who are happy to share their stories out there. We need people to be discussing the things that are a little ‘underground’ or that make people squirm a little.

pinkelephantEach day of the week has had a different focus. On Monday, the results of an online survey were released. The survey combined responses from 3,300 women aged between 18 and 87 years, and healthcare professionals including nurses, GPs and HCPs.

Yesterday, the attention was directed towards natural therapies, looking at the safety and effectiveness of natural medications and treatments. There was great advice about questions to ask (yourself and your HCPs) before taking any natural therapies.

Today, it’s all about what is not being talked about. Starting with the difficult topic of domestic violence, the website provides advice about the issue and lists placed to go to for help. While there has been quite a bit of attention in the media given to domestic violence this year, the statistics are horrendous and we need to be doing more.

Also on the agenda for today is mental health and there are links to some valuable information about depression, anxiety and emotional health.

The rest of the week is about managing our health and healthy living.

I understand that not everyone is happy to share their story. And that is fine. But even those who prefer to stay silent and keep any health concerns to themselves still may look for information and advice. And shining a light on some of the less talked about health problems faced by Australian women with a bright and bold campaign does just that.

So. Let’s talk!