In 2020 Latrobe Health Assembly, in partnership with the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia (PPFA) piloted a series of 1-hour PPEP (Pelvic Pain Education Program) talks — a positive, fun, educational and interactive program that talks about pain, periods and endometriosis for year 9 and 10 students in Latrobe Valley.
Following the success of the pilot, the State and Federal Government have announced they will be co-funding the implementation of the program across 56 secondary schools nationwide. The program, currently limited to government schools, will begin in the third term and will be delivered to year 10 students. The PPEP program aims to support teenagers who suffer severe period pain, pelvic pain and endometriosis to allow them to be aware of the signs and seek help sooner.
Speaking of the 2020 pilot, Executive Director of the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia, Kirsty Mead, says ‘On behalf of the one in nine girls, women and people assigned female at birth, the Foundation would like to thank the Latrobe Health Assembly for having the foresight to directly address problems in their community by piloting PPEP Talk® in Victoria in 2020.’
Latrobe Health Assembly Research and Planning Lead, Kate Mallia, says ‘This program had a fantastic outcome when we piloted it across 10 schools in Latrobe Valley, implementing it in schools across Australia is a huge step in the right direction.’
‘Endometriosis isn’t currently included in the school curriculum, so providing PPEP talks will help students become more aware of the symptoms, and the ways in which to get the help and a diagnosis they need early on’, continued Ms Mallia.
According to Endometriosis Australia, more than 11% of Australian women, girls and gender-diverse people suffer from endometriosis, with symptoms usually beginning in the teenage years. Varying symptoms and limited awareness of the disease often leads to a delayed diagnosis. There is no cure and the disease can only be correctly diagnosed surgically.
To find out more information on Latrobe Health Assembly’s PPEP pilot, please visit https://www.healthassembly.org.au/all-projects/pelvic-pain-period-pain-and-endometriosis-community-education/