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Reintroducing restrictions is tough on our mental health – let’s face it together

14 Jul 2020
With Victoria reintroducing restrictions and New South Wales on ‘high alert’, the National Mental Health Commission is encouraging all Australians to continue to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing during the continuing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission’s CEO, Christine Morgan, acknowledged that as Australia continues to chart our way through this pandemic, changing restrictions are meaning that many of us have to adapt the new routines we have created in recent months.

“This is a challenge for all of us as we hoped for a steady return to a more normal way of life. As we come to grips with the way the virus moves around communities we must remember we are all in this together. For those of us going back into restrictions, our mental health and sense of wellbeing may be challenged again.”

“It is important to remember that things can get better,” said Ms Morgan. “We are seeing that for many of us our mental health and wellbeing are recovering as restrictions ease.”

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey shows that fewer people in June reported experiencing personal stress (24% compared to 43% in April) or suffering from loneliness (9% compared to 22% in April). However, while fewer people reported feelings associated with anxiety and depression, those still facing significant mental health and wellbeing challenges include younger people and those experiencing unemployment and financial stress as a result of the pandemic.

Other people facing significant challenges include those suffering violence and abuse from a current or former partner. “If you are experiencing or fear violence at home, remember help is available and it is always okay to leave the house to seek support if you are in danger, even as we are physically isolating. Re-introducing restrictions does not mean you have to stay in your home under dangerous circumstances”.

“Let’s stay socially connected, make the effort to keep talking to friends and family and don’t hesitate to make contact with one of the many free support lines which are available or seek support with one of the professional services.”

Media contact: Elaine Banoub, 0412 237 673

National 24/7 Support

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 000.

If you, or anyone you know needs support the below support lines are available 24/7.

Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service | 1800 512 348 | www.coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au
1800 RESPECT Sexual assualt, domestic family violence |
Lifeline | 13 11 14  | www.lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service  | 1300 659 467 | www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Kids Helpline | 1800 55 1800 | www.kidshelp.com.au
MensLine Australia | 1300 78 99 78 | www.mensline.org.au

For mental health information and resources https://headtohealth.gov.au/

For people living in Victoria experiencing family violence contact safe steps on 1800 015 188 or email [email protected] The safe steps web chat support service is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm www.safesteps.org.au