The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our daily lives in Australia. With exercise restrictions in place, it has had an effect on our physical health but it also has taken a toll on many people’s mental health.
In Victoria, there is currently a Stage 4 lockdown which is contributing to an additional impact to businesses, meaning mental health support may become even more important.
With that in mind, we have put together a list of some resources you can access if you feel at all in need.
VicHealth mental wellbeing resource
The VicHealth website has an excellent resource to encourage healthy mental wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, VicHealth has a further list of resources, plus videos and articles to help support you during this time. They have supplied a list of tips for staying mentally healthy, including:
- Keep socially connected to others via phone, social media, email or Skype if you can’t visit them in person.
- Create a routine to maintain a sense of normalcy, such as regular physical activity, cooking healthy meals and continuing to work or study if you feel well enough and can do so from home.
- Focus on what you can control – for example washing your hands frequently, following physical distancing guidelines – instead of what you can’t control, i.e. what other people do.
Visit VicHealth here.
Lifeline COVID-19 wellbeing resource
Lifeline is a charity that provides 24-hour mental health support, Australia-wide. They have set up a COVID-19 resource with advice for coping with the situation, such as:
- Follow a ‘calm yet cautious’ approach: Do your best to remain calm and be mindful not to contribute to the widespread panic that can hinder efforts to positively manage the outbreak. Ensure you are following directives issued by the government, medical advice and observe good hygiene habits.
- Actively manage your wellbeing: By maintaining routines where possible, connect with family and friends (even if not in person), staying physically active, eating nutritious foods and seeking additional support by contacting Lifeline or further professional support as required.
Visit Beyond Blue here.
Beyond Blue COVID-19 support service
Beyond Blue supplies mental health support from trained counsellors for all Australians. In addition, it has a resource for those who have tested positive for coronavirus.
One piece of advice it has is to not expose yourself to too much news if it is affecting your mental health:
- Avoid news overload with the SIFT technique: Stop and think before you take anything as fact. Investigate the source – who is providing this information? Find better coverage. Cross-check the information with trusted sources. Trace claims, quotes, and media to the original context. In other words, click back to find the original source of the information.
Visit Beyond Blue here.
Australian Psychological Society fact and advice sheets
The Australian Psychological Society has provided advice and fact sheets around COVID-19, including those for frontline workers, those who are experiencing social isolation and the elderly. Their tips for practising self-care include:
- maintaining good social connections and communicating openly with family and friends
- keeping up a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting quality sleep and avoiding the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to cope with stress
- practising relaxation, meditation and mindfulness to give your body a chance to settle and readjust to a calm state.
Visit the Australian Psychological Society here.