WHLM aims to build the capacity of health service providers in rural areas by providing cervical screening and sexual and reproductive health information to women (e.g. health education, contraception, STI’s, abortion services, RU486 and family planning services). The WHLM nurse’s role supports preceptoring of rural nurses to set up clinics. Our preceptorship model will allow nurses the opportunity to have their placements & final assessment in Bendigo without having to travel to Melbourne.
We engage with women across the region to increase our understanding of the nature and extent of barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health information, advice and services. This information informs dissemination of information to health workers. Dissemination occurs in response to evidence from previous research that health workers are seeking information and guidance about what advice to provide.
WHLM also promotes sexual and reproductive knowledge in schools, to identify barriers and enablers to the provision of quality sexual health education, establishing partnerships and providing information and support to build the capacity of the education sector to provide appropriate sexual health education. We work in partnership with Family Planning Victoria and the DEECD to achieve this.
WHLM sexual and reproductive health work:
Well Women’s Clinic
Our Well Women’s Clinic continues to ground our advocacy for better sexual health in the lived experiences of women in our region and to ensure that better access to screening is available. Services provided within the clinic include; pap smears, chlamydia testing and options counselling.
Healthy Mallee Schools Project – Ouyen
This project has involved a collaborative effort between The Ouyen P-12 College in the State’s north and Women’s Health Loddon Mallee. The project focussed on mapping the school’s current health plan, assisting and enabling teachers to teach appropriate sexuality education at each year level, and the adoption of a whole-of school approach to sexuality. This involved looking at different methods of sexuality information sharing; across all key learning areas, not simply through health classes. The learnings from this project will inform the future direction of support to schools from Women’s Health Loddon Mallee particularly when Respectful Relationships education if mandated across all Victorian schools, as has been stated by the current government.