It’s natural to feel a range of emotions such as stress, worry, anxiety, boredom, or low mood while Australia is managing this outbreak and encouraging you to practise self-isolation. While there is so much information out there focused on maintaining your physical wellbeing, maintaining your mental health is just as important. We’ve compiled a list of helpful mindfulness advice from government-funded and not-for-profit mental health organisations across Australia who are working around the clock to offer dedicated COVID-19 mental health support.
Beyond Blue is a not-for-profit organisation that provides information and support available for everyone in Australia to achieve their best possible mental health.
In response to the growing demand for mental health support as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Beyond Blue is currently developing a dedicated COVID-19 Mental Health Support Service.
Funded by the Australian Government, this new service will offer free counselling by mental health professionals for all people in Australia 24/7, both online and over the phone. It will also provide free and easily accessible information and advice around coping with COVID-19, isolation and connection, workplace and financial hardship, and how best to support the mental health of loved ones.
On their dedicated COVID-19 response page they’re offering this advice for managing your mental health while in self-isolation or quarantine:
- Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of the virus.
- Remember that your effort is helping others in the community avoid contracting the virus.
- Stay connected with friends, family and colleagues via email, social media, video conferencing or telephone.
- Connect with others via the Beyond Blue forums thread: Coping during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.
- Keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy foods.
- Try to maintain physical activity.
- Establish routines as best possible and try to view this period as a new experience that can bring health benefits.
- For those working from home, try to maintain a healthy balance by allocating specific work hours, taking regular breaks and, if possible, establishing a dedicated work space.
- Avoid news and social media if you find it distressing.
Headspace provides tailored and holistic mental health support to 12 - 25 year olds. Accessed across the nation, Headspace provides free mental health support and counselling via phone, online chat and email options available.to young people and their families and friends. Online free meditation is also available.
On their dedicated COVID-19 support page, they offer the below advice to maintain a healthy headspace during this time:
- Be mindful of exposure to information through stories, traditional and social media. It can be helpful to take a break from the 24-hour news cycle.
- Do things that make you feel physically and emotionally safe, and be with those who are helpful to your wellbeing
- Engage in activities that promote a sense of calm and feeling grounded (use of alcohol and other drugs can be counterproductive with this).
- It can help to talk with a trusted adult if it all feels a bit much.
Head to Health
Provided by the Australian Department of Health, Head to Health is a digital mental health hub which brings together apps, online programs, online forums, and phone services, as well as a range of digital information resources from some of Australia’s most trusted mental health organisations.
Whether you are trying to improve your own sense of wellbeing, looking for help with something that is bothering you, or helping someone you care about—Head to Health is a good place to start.
Their dedicated COVID-19 response page has some great advice on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as well as information for parents, and how to keep older Australians safe and connected by helping them get established online.
Lifeline WA is a 24-hour counselling and support service which reaches out to thousands of people in need. Their COVID-19 response page has a plethora of content related to how to cope with the new circumstances coronavirus has brought upon the nation, you can asses the articles below:
Talking to your children about COVID-19
Managing money during COVID-19
How to work from home
Learning to work from home with the family
Managing your phycological health during COVID-19
Mental Health Commission
The Mental Health Commission, part of the Government of Western Australia, aims to establish mental health, alcohol and other drug systems that meet the needs of Western Australia’s population.
You’ll find a lot of useful information and mental health advice on their COVID-19 response page, where they’ve offered the below tailored advice for helping children and seniors:
For children and young people:
- Have open and honest conversations
- Relay the facts, in a way that is appropriate for their age and temperament.
- Listen to their questions.
- Let them know that they are okay and it’s normal to feel concerned.
For older parents, grandparents or friends:
- Check in on them and stay in touch.
- Help them with their physical and medical needs, if they need it, (with consideration to the latest advice from Health authorities)
Curtin University has released a cognitive behaviour therapy strategies to improve Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This includes a range of evidence-based strategies to improve anxiety and depression.
Need to talk to someone now?
Call 000 if you feel someone is at risk.
Mental Health Emergency Response 1300 555 788 (Metro) or 1800 676 822 (Peel) or 1800 552 002 (Rurallink)
Lifeline 13 11 14
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
beyondblue 1300 224 636
Alcohol and Drug Support Line 08 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024 (Country)
Parent and Family Drug Support Line 08 9442 5050 or 1800 653 203 (Country)