Keeping well & staying connected amidst COVID-19 shutdown

Discussions and concerns around the coronavirus outbreak and practising self-isolation can be stressful and impact our mental health and wellbeing.

"Anxiety, worry, anger, hopelessness, stress, trauma, depression… these are all perfectly reasonable responses to this current reality. You don’t have to warrant a clinical diagnosis to need support," says Dr Alex Hains, Regional Manager of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative.

"There are things we can all do to maintain good mental health or enable recovery, even during a shutdown period. Keeping physically distant from people where possible doesn’t have to mean becoming socially isolated."

Dr Hains says small acts of kindness, like leaving a note in your neighbours letter box or a regular phone call to family and friends, can help remind others they're not alone.

If you are struggling with your mental health there are lots of supports available - here are some websites you may find useful:

Many local providers are also able to connect with people over the phone or via video.

"Things won’t be so difficult forever. There will come a time when social restrictions begin to lift and we’ll be able to resurface to see our friends, families, and the familiar faces of people who are part of our daily routines again. We’re all feeling the loss of our usual connections. So, until we are able to hug our friends and families, or just have a chat to the bloke at our local café, look after yourselves and those around you as best you can."

If you or someone you know needs support now, please call Lifeline 24/7 on 13 11 14.