Liptember raises $1.5m for women’s mental health

Liptember Foundation has raised a whopping $1.5 million in its 2022 national campaign to raise awareness and funds in supporting women’s mental health.

Alarming statistics from the Liptember Foundation earlier this year revealed one in two women in Australia are experiencing mental illness and less than half of those are seeking help.

The 2022 national fundraising campaign sought to raise awareness around women’s mental health struggles.

Brightly coloured Liptember lipsticks put the spotlight on the need to encourage conversations and facilitate women seeking help.

The funds raised through the Liptember campaign will go towards supporting key areas of need identified in the foundation’s Women’s Health Research Study.

“The Liptember campaign is critical in providing funding for the Foundation to support the one in two Australian women suffering from mental illness and address the national mental health gender gap,” Liptember Foundation CEO and founder Luke Morris says.

“We cannot thank our community, and most importantly our premier partner Chemist Warehouse, enough for their long-term commitment to women’s mental health in this country.”

Women’s mental health issues are rising

The exclusive study found mental health issues for females are steadily on the rise, with 50 per cent of those affected facing a severe form of disorder.

“But there are currently clear barriers to seeking help, with only 48 per cent of women reaching out,” Luke explains.

The reasons include women not realising the importance of addressing their issues, time, cost of treatment, and the perceived embarrassment, shame and stigma, he says.

“It’s clear there is a large gap in treating and diagnosing women’s mental illness,” he says.

“Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that 10.6 per cent of Australian females identify as having a diagnosed long-term mental health condition.

“Which means of the 50 per cent of women in our study who identified as currently experiencing mental illness, only one in 10 are actually diagnosed.”

Factors impacting mental health for women

Biological factors such as menstruation, menopause, pregnancy and birth; as well as certain experiences such as miscarriage, ovarian or cervical cancer, can each present unique and diverse mental health conditions specifically for women, Luke says.

“But it’s not only biological factors; there are different life stages, socioeconomic, political and cultural factors associated with being female that have a significant impact on the prevalence of mental illness among those who identify as women,” he says.

“Although significant progress has been made over the past decade to raise awareness and destigmatise issues such as anxiety or depression, the statistics are showing us the next step is we need to educate the community and raise awareness around more complex mental health issues.

“Currently half of all women feel there’s not enough discussion around deeper issues such as psychotic disorders, personality disorders, psychological distress and behavioural and mood disorders, which clearly shows that further investment in this area must be made.”

The Liptember Foundation, which has evolved from a fundraising campaign to a trusted source and respected leader when it comes to women’s mental health, believes tailored support services are vital to preventing and managing mental illnesses and increasing the overall wellbeing of women living with existing conditions.

Other key findings from the study

  • The study found minority groups desperately need specific support to prevent significant mental health issues.
  • 23 per cent of pregnant women are currently suffering perinatal depression and anxiety.
  • 18 per cent of Indigenous Australian women are battling with substance use disorders.
  • A quarter of women in the LGBTIQA+ community are dealing with eating disorders.
  • 36 per cent of women affected by homelessness and poverty are in psychological distress.
  • It also found that women under the age of 39 are at increased risk of suffering from a severe to moderate form of mental health disorder, with issues such as body image, psychological distress and eating disorders becoming more prevalent.
  • Almost seven in 10 women in this age group wished they could take more time to manage their mental health, they felt that other priorities took precedence.

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Written by Liz McGrath.