This special project aims to further understand the experiences of women living in smaller, rural communities through bushfire and COVID-19 recovery by gathering your stories. It aims to explore how women are connecting with community and any key barriers to social connection in order to inform WHGNE’s ongoing advocacy and support for women’s mental wellbeing.
Crises such as the 2019-20 bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic unfairly impact women’s health and wellbeing. Pre-existing gendered social inequalities have been highlighted as women have taken on a greater share of additional care responsibilities for children, other family members and at-risk community members. This has contributed to an observed ‘triple load’ during the crises, including paid work, care work and the mental labour of worrying in the wake of disaster. It is also important to note that the frequency and severity of intimate partner violence also increases during and after emergencies, with confinement to the home creating additional risks.
These risk factors lead to emotional, social and financial stress and anxiety, and can exacerbate existing mental health conditions or trigger new conditions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, women were more likely than men to report feeling ‘nervous’ and that ‘everything was an effort’ at least some of the time. Women have also reported increased psychological distress, reduced life satisfaction and heightened feelings of anxiety and worry, compounding existing inequalities for mental health between women and men.
Share your story
Women’s Health Goulburn North East would like to hear directly from you about how you have been managing the challenges of COVID-19 and how it has influenced your health and, in particular, if it has influenced or affected your mental wellbeing. Perhaps it brought new challenges or perhaps it added to challenges that were already there, making them better or worse.
If you would like to participate, we will record your story, ideas and suggestions that you share with us. You can complete the survey or fill in the story template below (or both), or you could choose to share your story in a few different ways including:
- If you live near Corryong, speak with Sara at the Corryong Neighbourhood Centre and tell your story as part of a group or individually – phone (02) 6076 2176
- Record yourself telling your story using the Voice Memos app on your smart phone and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) on (03) 57475443 and make a time to speak with Teresa Carney, Sarah Hill or Melissa Rowland
- Write your story and send it via email to email@example.com
- Write your story with pen and paper and post it to:
Women’s Health Goulburn North East
PO Box 853
Wangaratta VIC 3676
Complete the survey
This survey will ask you to reflect on your own experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide answers to both multiple choice and long-form answer questions.
Please note: We will not record any personal information (such as name or
specific personal details), but would like to record your age, gender and postcode.
Tell us your story
Use this story template to share your own story about your experience of living through the Covid-19 pandemic, and how it has impacted your mental wellbeing.
Support Resources available for your use if needed:
Safe Steps – 1800 015 188, safesteps.org.au
1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732, 1800respect.org.au
Men’s Referral Service – 1300 766 491, ntv.org.au
Djirra – 1800 105 303, djirra.org.au
Rainbow Door – 1800 729 367, rainbowdoor.org.au
InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence – 1800 755 988, intouch.org.au
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800, kidshelpline.com.au
You can tell your story in a way that feels most comfortable to you, or for prompts and ideas as to how to share your insight, refer to our storytelling guide.
WHGNE will write up your story without recording any personal information or details (such as your name or circumstances). We may look at any commonalities and themes and share these with service providers, relevant Council staff, Social Recovery Working Groups and relevant State Government departments – the people we do our advocacy with.
WHGNE will provide a copy of any report made from the stories to all participants.