Mental health and COVID-19
Discussions and concerns around the coronavirus outbreak and practising self-isolation can be stressful and impact our mental health and wellbeing. It’s natural to feel a range of emotions, such as stress, worry, anxiety, boredom, or low mood. Many people feel distressed by the constant news and overwhelming amount of information about the situation.
Head to Health is committed to providing Australians with trusted information and digital supports to help support everyone's mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic. This page covers where to get the facts about the COVID-19 outbreak, tips for maintaining good mental health, information on how to access mental health services, information for parents, and how to keep older Australians safe and connected by helping them get established online.
COVID-19: The facts
- The Australian Government Department of Health website is the main source of health-related information on what Australia is doing in response to this pandemic. See the coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert page.
- A national campaign has launched to inform all Australians about the coronavirus (COVID-19). The campaign aims to reduce the risk to individuals and families by enabling them to make informed decisions and to take up health recommendations. There are a range of coronavirus (COVID-19) campaign resources that provide more information and tips to help you be prepared. There are also translated versions of the resources in Arabic, Vietnamese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Farsi, Italian and Korean.
- For the latest information about the global response to the COVID-19 outbreak, visit the World Health Organisation (WHO) page, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Maintaining good mental health
This information has been produced in collaboration with MindSpot whose assistance is acknowledged and appreciated.
During this time, it’s important to do things that help us to cope and maintain good mental health.
We also have a separate page that describes some psychological skills to help you cope with anxiety and worry about COVID-19.
Hear from mental health experts
- As a nation, as a community and as individuals we are facing an extraordinary time – with many of us feeling unsettled and uncertain as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19
- Our mental health is equally as important as our physical health during this time
- While we are keeping physically distant, it is more important than ever that we remain socially and emotionally connected
- Mental health organisations, experts and leaders have come together to launch #InThisTogether – a national conversation that everyone can join in on, sharing practical tips online to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians during COVID-19
- #InThisTogether calls on all Australians to proactively follow and share the tips while we remain socially and emotionally connected with family, friends, neighbours and your community
- We will all need a little extra support during this time, so let’s be kind, stay connected, check in with each other, and encourage people to seek professional support when they need it
Watch the #InThisTogether videos and find out more information on the campaign on the National Mental Health Commission website.
How to access mental health services
It is important to seek support if you are feeling overwhelmed. Speaking with friends or family to let them know how you feel can help, and they might also appreciate talking to you about how they feel. There are also many digital mental health services that you can access online or over the phone, or you can connect with a health professional such as your GP, a psychologist, or other mental health professional.
Information for parents
This information has been reproduced with permission from raisingchildren.net.au
Protecting our elderly
Social distancing and self-isolation are key measures for preventing the spread of viruses. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), the team of health experts from around Australia who are helping the Government deal with the outbreak, has also placed limits on organised gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups, including residents of aged care facilities. However, these measures can leave people socially isolated, which has negative impacts on mental health and wellbeing.
Elderly people are one of the groups most at risk of serious infection if they are exposed to COVID-19, but they are also vulnerable to becoming isolated during this time. Getting established online is a good way to stay connected and access services while minimising exposure and spread of COVID-19.
If you know an older Australian who might need assistance in getting established online and learning digital literacy skills, visit eSafety’s Be Connected website, which has great resources designed to help older Australians develop digital and online skills. eSafety's article Social distancing without the isolation: helping older Australians connect online highlights some of the key resources that can help right now.
You might find online and phone-based mental health resources helpful. Some suggestions are below. You can find more with our Search tool.