2019/2020 have seen Australia in particular facing unprecedented situations. From November 2019 significant parts of Australia was under threat from bushfire. As a nation we have rallied together. Just as many communities were starting to contemplate the recovery process, Australia and for that matter the world is now facing an unprecedented situation as our health authorities and governments act to manage the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
It is understandable and very normal to not feel OK in challenging times such as these. Many of us have had to rethink the way we do business, how we interact with people and how we go about our daily lives without the luxury of being able to gently transition in to our new way of life.
We are being bombarded with some much information and misinformation that we often feel overwhelmed by what we read. At the present time, despite the requirements of social distancing the ever increasing shut down of non-essential services, we must continue to promote a sense of community by asking them “Are you OK?”
The other day, I saw a young lady who was tasked with disinfecting the baskets and the handles of the trollies at the supermarket. I noticed that despite the large spray bottle and the even larger pile of paper towel, she was not wearing any gloves. I told her that she need to get some gloves to protect herself. In walking off I realised that I had pair of nitrile gloves in my bag so I turned back and gave them to her. She was very thankful and when I saw her later, I noticed that she was smiling, because someone had bother to care about what she was doing and her safety.
If you’re feeling well and able to support someone, practically or emotionally, here are some practical things that you can to do improve your mental health and others. Going into a period of social distancing, self-isolation or quarantine may feel daunting or overwhelming, and can contribute to feelings of helplessness and fear. So here are some things that may help you through this period
Manage your exposure to media coverage - Restricting news items to 2 per day – using a reputable and reliable source
Show compassion and kindness to one another –
Actively manage your wellbeing –
Staying connected through the COVID-19 crisis
If there is someone you think may struggle through social isolation, it is important to reach out to them and let them know you care:
Follow a “calm yet cautious” approach – do you best to remain calm and be mindful not to contribute to the widespread panic that can hinder efforts to positively manage the outbreak. Ensure you are following directives issued by the government, medical advice and observe good hygiene habits.
Strategies to cope with social distancing, self-isolation or quarantine - Going into a period of social distancing, self-isolation or quarantine may feel daunting or overwhelming, and can contribute to feelings of helplessness and fear. In addition to the above, we encourage the following;
For more information and assistance:
Lifeline - 24 hour telephone counselling service. Phone: 13 11 14 http://www.lifeline.org.au/
Mensline Australia - A dedicated service for men Phone: 1300 78 99 78
Kids Help Line - young people aged between 5 and 25. Phone: 1800 55 18 00
beyondblue Support Service Information and referral to relevant services for depression and anxiety related matters. Phone: 1300 22 46 36
R U OK? www.ruok.org.au
Black Dog Institute - The Black Dog Institute is a world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
Carer Gateway - Are you one of the 2.5 million Australians who care for a loved one, friend or neighbour? www.carergateway.gov.au
Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation. http://www.headspace.org.au/