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In July 2019, BaptistCare HopeStreet Women’s Services received a grant from Women NSW to assist in developing cultural specific resources around mental health and stress for women from migrant backgrounds in the sex industry. This was a need identified in the Working with Migrant Sex Workers in Sydney’s Lower End Brothels report we released in December, with high levels of stress and poor mental health being reported by women.
The team developed a range of resources in collaboration with women, resulting in animated video clips, calendars, conversation cards and journals. Many of these resources acted as soft entry points to have deeper conversations around mental health, connect women to support available from Women’s Services and equip women to support each other.
The team also delivered online workshops to women, giving women skills to support themselves and others. After workshops, participants shared their level of confidence to support a stressed friend had increased by 60 percent.
For many women, being intrinsically involved in the development of these resources also brought great satisfaction and accomplishment.
One participant commented, “That was the day I felt confidence and joy, when I was having difficult time”. The resources developed will continue to be used to support women across our HopeStreet services.