WHG works with a range of partner organisations to improve the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of women in the Grampians region. We aim to increase women’s access to timely and appropriate sexual and reproductive health services with a focus on contraception, pregnancy counselling, and abortion. WHG engages regional partners to build local capacity and promote training for professionals working in this area.
- Over half of all women have experienced an unplanned pregnancy
- At the time of an unplanned pregnancy, 60 per cent of women were using at least one form of contraception.
Local and regional data tells us:
- There are major barriers for rural women accessing family planning services
- Our teenage birth rate is consistently higher than the state average
- Regional rates of Chlamydia are higher than those for Victoria.
Research & Evaluation
In 2017, WHG partnered with the University of Melbourne to develop the Rural GPs and Unintended Pregnancies in the Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera regions report. This research confirmed that information on the range of options available to women with unintended pregnancies is limited in our region and direct services are scarce. In 2018, the Increasing Reproductive Choices project was established to address some of those issues.
1800 My Options: local providers add your service to this map
Independent, non-judgmental, woman-centred and pro-choice, this confidential, free phone line and online service, provides information about contraception, pregnancy options (including abortion) and sexual health. The team work alongside hundreds of trusted healthcare providers in Victoria, to link people to the services that best suits their needs. 1800 My Options has a range of promotional resources available for download or order from their website.
ORIENT Study – Recruiting GP Clinics now Led by the SPHERE NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care. Call out to any rural/regional GP Clinics interested in implementing long acting reversible contraception and early medical abortion through nurse-led models of care, task-sharing and telehealth. Clinics will be supported with expert guidance, resources, training and a financial incentive.
SPHERE are also leading the AusCAPPS Community of Practice: empowering Australia’s primary care workforce to deliver best practice, evidence-based care to women of reproductive age who are trying to prevent or manage an unintended pregnancy. Open to Nurses, Pharmacists, GP’s AusCAPPS increases access to much-needed practice support, resources, and education and training; provide regional peer-networking opportunities
NEW – recorded webinar “Preparing your Practice to Deliver Medical Abortion”
Centre of Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (CERSH) provide free accredited Online Learning Modules for Rural Sexual Health Practitioners
SexRurality Conference 25-26 OCT 2022 Creswick showcasing innovations and achievements in rural sexual health hosted by the CERSH this conference aims to provide a forum for high-quality professional practice and research papers on sexual and reproductive health in rural settings and encourage growth in the capacity of rural practitioners.
Microcredential: Abortion, Contraception and Sexual Health: Supporting Client Access. This free short course provides an understanding of sexual and reproductive health rights and options and the barriers that can affect access to services in Victoria. Developed by 1800 My Options this is suitable for any health professional, support worker or student who is interested in learning how to support clients who are seeking abortion, contraception and sexual health information and services.
In 2019 an evaluation of the Increasing Reproductive Choices in the Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera Regions project found:
- a 16% increase in the proportion of GPs who would always discuss medical abortion (up from 27% in 2017 to 43%)
- 60% of participants described the range, number of services and referral pathways available to patients with unintended pregnancy as improved
- closer working relationships between experts and local providers
- strong and enduring relationships with key stakeholders
Through the Increasing Reproductive Choices Partnership Group, we continue to monitor sexual and reproductive health service provision across the region, remaining alert and responsive to any workforce challenges or barriers for women accessing abortion care. This partnership ensures WHG can provide strong rural and regional advocacy to relevant peak bodies and networks in working towards improved reproductive choices for women.
It’s Your Body, You Decide video discusses options for medical and surgical abortion and how to find local services. Developed by Women’s Health Grampians aiming to overcome challenges for women accessing abortion across the Grampians region. In collaboration with the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health this video has now been adapted for 8 different languages: Burmese, Farsi, Korean, Italian, Turkish, Spanish, Swahili and Vietnamese https://www.mcwh.com.au/videos-about-…
Women’s Health Grampians acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.