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Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19 is very important. We need to focus on doing things that help us cope with the challenges that arise and maintain good mental health.

You may not feel your best every day. We all go through a range of emotions such as stress, anxiety or just having ‘one of those days’. In times of great uncertainty, such as this pandemic, these feelings are a normal response to such stresses.

Taking time out from your daily routine to do things that you enjoy can help your mental health and wellbeing. Keeping in touch with family and friends virtually and talking on the phone is also important. By keeping the conversation going we make sure that no one feels alone or disconnected.

Some people will find it more difficult than others. Look out for the signs that mental health issues could be developing to support them:

  • changes in appetite or mood
  • disrupted sleep, change in sleeping patterns
  • withdrawal or disconnection from other people
  • turning more often to alcohol or other drugs.

Please reach out to your friends and family, stay connected and encourage others to seek help if they are struggling.

Taking care of your mental health

  • Stay connected — keep in touch by phone, social media or video calls
  • Keep moving — exercise to relieve stress
  • Stick to a routine — keep regular sleeping and eating patterns
  • Maintain perspective – medical, scientific and public health experts around the world are working hard to contain COVID-19
  • Switch off — take a break from the news if it feels overwhelming
  • Reach out — activate your support network or reach out for professional help.

You can also read Beyond Blue’s article on Ways to look after your mental health amid the coronavirus pandemic

Help is always available

Help is always available if you need support. The following services are here to help you:

General support services

Support for children and young people

Specialised mental health and wellbeing support services are available for children and young people.

  • Headspace on 1800 650 890. Headspace helps young Australians with mental health, physical health, and managing work and study.
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged five to 25.
  • ReachOut is an online service for young people aged 25 and below that provides information, support and resources about mental health issues.

Support for parents and guardians

While parenting can be challenging at times, COVID-19 may bring extra stresses and pressures for parents and families. Specialist support services are available to assist you.

  • Parent Line NSW on 1300 1300 52. Parent Line is a telephone counselling, information and referral service for parents of children aged 0 to 18 years who live in NSW.
  • PANDA is the National Parental Anxiety & Depression Helpline. It is Australia’s only free national helpline service for women, men and their families affected by perinatal anxiety and depression.
  • ReachOut Parents provides online free personalised assistance to help you support your teenagers through a tough time.

Support for people caring for people with mental health issues

  • Mental Health Carers NSW provides advocacy and support for families, relatives and friends of people who experience mental health issues      in NSW. They are funded by the NSW Mental Health Commission.
  • Carer Gateway is a new service that provides free counselling, peer support, emergency respite and other services for all carers.
  • Carer Hangout is an online video chat drop-in centre for carers across NSW run by Carer Peer Connect. Sessions are available Mondays 2-4pm and Fridays 10am to 12 noon. It is a safe space for carers to come together and chat to others during COVID-19.

Support for members of the LGBTIQ+ community

  • QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTIQ+ peer support and referral for people who want to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. QLife web chat runs from 3pm till midnight daily.

Online resources

  • NSW Mental Health Commission offers mental health tips and community resources to support people affected by disaster and COVID-19.
  • Being is a mental wellbeing and consumer advisory group that advocates for people with lived experience of mental health issues and provided mental health training. They are funded by the NSW Mental Health Commission.
  • Black Dog Institute has a dedicated page for managing anxiety, stress and wellbeing during COVID-19.
  • Head to Health is a Federal Government site dedicated to providing trusted information and digital supports to help your mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic.
  • MindSpot provides practical psychological skills for coping with COVID-19. They are funded by the Federal Government.
  • Griefline listens, cares and supports people experiencing loss and grief, at any stage in life.
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Last updated: 08 May 2020