The Andrews Labor Government’s new helpline for Victorian women seeking timely and trusted information on sexual and reproductive health issues will start taking callers this month.
Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today officially launched 1800 My Options, Victoria’s first ever state-wide sexual and reproductive health phone line.
1800 My Options will provide Victorians with sexual and reproductive health information, and direct them to clinical services such as contraception, pharmacy services, counselling support, termination providers and a range of other services.
The phone line is free and confidential, with highly-trained, experienced and sensitive staff who have extensive knowledge in sexual and reproductive health issues.
The Labor Government has provided $1.76 million over four years to set up the phone line, operated by Women’s Health Victoria – a trusted, independent, statewide not-for-profit health promotion organisation.
In addition to the new phone line, there is also new women’s reproductive health information on the Better Health Channel. It provides comprehensive, evidence-based information about women’s sexual and reproductive health.
Both the phone line and online information are part of Victoria’s first-ever Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy, which is supported by $6.6 million in Labor Government funding. The strategy sets out key actions to reduce barriers and service gaps that affect women’s access to reproductive and sexual health services.
One year on, a number of initiatives have commenced, including two community-based reproductive health hubs located in Bendigo and Melbourne’s west, with another two to open this year, and the provision of free facial hair laser treatment for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome at the Monash Medical Centre in Clayton.
The Strategy also provided a revamp of the Family Planning Victoria’s Action Centre, which has allowed more women than ever to get the support and services they need.
For more information please visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“No matter where they live, Victorian women will now have access to free, evidence-based information about contraception, pregnancy options and sexual and reproductive health.”
“Women’s sexual and reproductive health is vital to their overall health and wellbeing. That’s why we are working hard to improve access to the sexual and reproductive health information, support and services, closer to home.”
Quote attributable to Women’s Health Victoria Executive Director Rita Butera
“Women’s Health Victoria is delighted to have successfully advocated for the establishment of 1800 My Options. This will provide Victorian women with easy access to contraception, pregnancy options and sexual health information, assisting them in navigating an often sensitive and complex service system.”