Following the Federal Government’s announcement of a $74million boost to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians during COVID-19, the National Mental Health Commission has launched the #InThisTogether national campaign.
As part of the collaborative campaign, a range of mental health service providers and organisations, experts and influencers have joined together to provide helpful information, practical tips, and support during this difficult time.
Everymind Acting Program Manager, Sara Bartlett, said it is widely recognised that the unprecedented changes brought in due to the COVID-19 outbreak have had a profound financial, physical and mental impact on Australians.
“The COVID-19 outbreak is generating an impact on all of us directly or indirectly, which is why it is important that we prioritise our mental health and wellbeing by staying connected through new ways,” Ms Bartlett said.
“The tips produced by #InThisTogether provide practical guidance for those who may be struggling and are seeking strategies and support.”
The campaign illustrates that people are not alone and seeks to provide hope and connection for those who may be feeling their mental health and wellbeing is being impacted upon during this time.
- Seek support. It’s OK not to feel OK – Everyone is being challenged in some way by COVID-19. Each of us will need support in different ways and learn strategies to better cope with anxiety and uncertainty. Services are available to help everyone.
- Follow the facts. Pause the scrolling – Large amounts of negative news can make us feel nervous and anxious. Take a break from it from time to time and only follow trusted sources of information.
- Talk, don’t just type – Staying connected emotionally and socially is really important. Hearing familiar voices and seeing familiar faces will help in tackling isolation and difficult feelings. Use your phones and computers to hear and see each other, and be heard.
- Routine helps. Create a new daily routine – For many, our daily routine has changed due to COVID-19 and we need to set a new one. Ensure you incorporate good routines including sleeping, exercising and healthy eating. Block out some hours to stay offline and lock in time to connect with loved ones.
- Take a break – Take regular breaks from work, news, phone calls and family demands. Your mind needs rest and time to reset to reduce anxiety and stress. There are also apps that can help with controlling and slowing breathing and calming the mind.
- Helpers need help too – Our essential workforce is under incredible pressure at the moment and it is critical that they seek support for their mental health when they are not coping. Let’s remember to understand, support and acknowledge them for the work they are doing.
- Reach out to those who may not have connections – Some people may live alone and may not have close friends or family near them. So, let’s cast our net wide and get creative about building our connected communities.
- Stay connected. Get creative in the ways you connect – It’s more important than ever to stay socially and emotionally connected even if you are physically distancing. Make a daily commitment to connect with families, friends and your communities and be creative in the way you do it. Please know there are people who can support you, so reach out and ask for help from people you know or from a support service.
- Get sweaty. Exercise is great for your mental health – Even the smallest amount of exercise has great benefits for your physical and mental health. If you can, go for a walk, run or ride outdoors or try YouTube for thousands of free exercises.
- Check-in and be kind to yourself – Some of us may be providing support to many people at the moment. Don’t forget that this is challenging for everyone and you need to take care of yourself too. Learn and practice new coping skills and monitor how YOU are feeling and seek support when you need it.
- Keep kids communicating. Let children know it is OK to be worried, and talk it out – If you’re a parent, work with your children to establish new routines for the whole family. Help them to stay connected with their friends, and reserve special times in the day for fun activities. Please seek support for you or your children if you need to.
- Financial stress is real. Talk about it – Financial stress can have an impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Take action to help you feel more in control by talking to an expert, and seeking help for your finances.
- Play your part - The most important thing is to remember that we can make a difference. Each day we are making decisions as to how we can safeguard and protect our family, our friends and our community. We can find ways to give our healthcare workers an extra buffer of protection. We’re in this together and everyone has a part to play.
How you can get involved
Help get the word out there! Stay connected and share these tips with family, friends, neighbours and the community.
Check out the #InThisTogether videos here.
For more information, visit:
Life in Mind has developed a comprehensive list of national resources, information and services available to support the mental health and wellbeing of those impacted by COVID-19. Visit www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/support-for-those-impacted-by-adverse-events/mental-health-support-for-covid-19