ReGen welcomes St Kilda Sharks’ support for improving women’s wellbeing (09/03/16)


Sharks Logo 2 Web thumbnailMelbourne, VIC, 9th March 2016 – Following yesterday’s International Women’s Day event, UnitingCare ReGen today welcomed the support of the St Kilda Sharks Women’s Football Club for the agency’s work supporting women affected by alcohol and other drug use.

Sharks President Keryn Ralph highlighted that, while there have been great recent achievements in women’s sport, there are many factors that affect women’s wellbeing:

This has been a terrific year for women’s footy and other women’s sports in Australia. We’ve seen great on-field success and a big increase in recognition for the skills, passion and commitment women bring to sport at all levels. This growth in support for women’s participation is welcome and marks real progress in our public and private lives.
At the Sharks, we understand the importance of physical health, community connections and developing strong support networks, but there are still many issues which continue to affect women’s wellbeing throughout our communities.
The experience of family or sexual violence, our cultural obsession with women’s appearance and everyday sexism or discrimination based on gender or sexual identity affects even the strongest women and can be a driver for mental health concerns and alcohol and other drug use.
If you, or someone you care about, are struggling with alcohol or other drugs, services like ReGen can help. ReGen’s services are free, confidential and will help get your life back on track.

ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis said:

We know that there are many challenges facing women affected by alcohol and other drug use. Yesterday, we heard first-hand accounts of the role stigma and discrimination play in creating barriers to seeking help and to achieving sustainable change when they do.
For many women, substance use is a coping strategy to deal with the physical and psychological impacts of trauma. We know that the responsibilities of parenting and the impacts of stigma, guilt and shame have particular impacts in women’s lives and can create both motivation to change and barriers to seeking help.
There is a clear need for improving the accessibility of treatment and support programs for women and to ensure that services provide women (and their families) with safe, welcoming and effective responses to their needs.
Through our Playgroup and other family programs, our ‘Mother and Baby’ withdrawal service (due to open later this year) and other initiatives, we are doing everything we can to make sure that our services are there for women when they need help and provide a holistic response to the many, interrelated factors that affect women’s wellbeing and quality of life.
We’re doing what we can, but we need help reaching out to women throughout our communities.
Support like this from the Sharks really helps increase awareness of our services and make it easier for women to get help when they need it. Our association with the club provides a tremendous opportunity to reduce alcohol and other drug related harm and promote health and wellbeing.