Health Night for Women
Published on 28 July 2017
Health Night for Women
A free Women’s Health Night was held at Cohuna on Wednesday July 26 as part of a partnership approach to celebrating all women across the Gannawarra Shire.
Northern District Community Health Nurse Tanya Maher-Toose and Cohuna District Hospital Nurse Wendy Lunghusen facilitated the evening attended by more than 115 women of all ages and stages.
Key Note speakers were Dr. Margreet Stegeman Obstetrician and Gynaecologist based in Shepparton and Dr. Megan Belot a General Practitioner from Cohuna.
Dr. Margreet Stegeman represented the Jean Hailes for Women’s Health Foundation and spoke to the topic Celebrating Women and Midlife. Dr Stegeman said that women are generally not good at looking after themselves.
“We go through all kinds of stages when we have lots of demands both on our physical health and emotional health,” said Dr. Stegeman.
“There are five main changes in a women’s life: adolescence, entering motherhood, menopause, as children move away from home and we are left with an ‘empty nest’, and retirement.”
“In all the chaos of life women can feel unsure of themselves and need some coping mechanisms to manage stressful situations and competing demands.”
Dr. Stegeman implored women to go back to the basics by eating healthy foods, being physically active, practicing relaxation and getting adequate sleep.
“Imagine that you are your own best friend, be happy with who you are, do what is good for you and look after yourself by making changes, participating, connecting with others and balancing daily responsibilities with the things you enjoy.”
Dr. Megan Belot highlighted health screening requirements through the age stages including pap smears, breast care, immunisation, sexually transmitted infections and advanced care planning.
“As women transition through the age stages from teenager to adulthood, to menopause and beyond it is important to know what physical health changes to expect and also how to look after your mental health.”
“There are services available locally so for any concerns see your GP, practice nurse, local hospital or access services available through Northern District Community Health and other support services,” said Dr. Belot.
Women’s health show bags, pop-up information stalls, lucky door prizes and supper provided by the St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School community added to the evening.
Women attending also received a ‘Gannawarra Cares’ card printed with the 5 Ways to Wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. Each card has two teabags attached with women encouraged to share a cup of tea with someone.
“Never underestimate the difference you can make by taking the time to connect with others,” said Ms Maher-Toose.
“Connecting with those around us is proven to increase our physical health as well as our level of happiness and what better way to do that than to enjoy a cup of tea with someone you know, or perhaps someone new.”
Agencies involved in hosting the event included Gannawarra Shire Council, Northern District Community Health, Kerang District Health, Cohuna District Hospital, Mallee Family Care, Mallee District Aboriginal Service, Murray Primary Health Network, Murray Dairy, Victoria Police and the Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership.
The event was one of 10 events supported by the Jean Hailes for Women’s Health Foundation, with support by the Eirene Lucas Foundation, to be held across Victoria as part of the 2017 Women’s Health Week activities.
Jean Hailes for Women’s Health is a leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving the knowledge of women’s health throughout the various stages of their lives.
Further information is available from www.jeanhailes.org.au.