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COVID-19 and Mental Health Support

At this testing time there has probably never been such an array of thoughts, opinions, guidance and directions on the one topic that has tested us all in 2020. If only I had a dollar for every COVID-19 article that has been sent my way! If you are working from home, wondering if you will work again or working with your children to help them with their schooling or cope in the current climate, we are being tested in the mental health space.

Governments have given a boost to mental health services that includes the targeting of vulnerable communities and letting everyone know it is OK not to feel OK and that they should seek help.

The Australian Government, Department of Health https://headtohealth.gov.au/ has a range of interactive resources that may assist. Topics are as follows:

  • COVID-19 support;
  • Meaningful life;
  • Mental health difficulties;
  • Supporting yourself;
  • Supporting someone else;
  • Service providers; and
  • Health professional resources

The web pages are simple to navigate and contain lots of helpful and easy to understand advice and information. Under the COVID-19 Support tab we are reminded that humans are susceptible to many different infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Worrying about diseases is a normal reaction. But, excessive worrying about infectious diseases can affect both our physical and our mental health.

Some psychological tips are then explained as follows:
  • Get informed with the right information Follow information you trust e.g., ABC Radio, Australian Government Department of Health website, World Health Organisation website etc.
  • Understand history Infectious diseases follow a predictable pattern. Initially, there is often scepticism, followed by attention, followed by panic, followed by reality, followed by a return to normality (toilet roll is back, yay!)
  • Get organised - If you are worried about something, then do something. Make plans and write your list of what you need to buy, organise, or set-up, and get on with doing it.
  • Balance your thoughts - Whenever you recognise a negative thought balance it with a realistic thought.
  • Shut down the noise - People tend to talk about things they are worried about; this creates lots of 'noise'. Do things you enjoy such as listening to music, entertainment, games, or even meditation.
  • Remember who you are - Be gentle, kind, and respectful to yourself and to others; other people are probably as stressed and worried as you are.
  • Keep healthy routines - Emotional health is strongly affected by regular routines that give us a sense of achievement and accomplishment.
  • Stay engaged - Stay connected with people and activities that are meaningful. Remember that people really appreciate engaging with others, even if this has not been planned.
  • Do the things that you enjoy and that are good for you - Planning to do fun things regularly will give you something to look forward to.
  • Keep looking forward - Remember the famous saying, 'this too shall pass'. It may not feel like it, but things will return to normal. Maintain your long-term goals, also think about things that you will do each day and week,

Further information can be found here https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support/covid-19/psychological-tips

If you are interested in the content of this article then you may wish to read the following blog article.
https://www.hazcon.com.au/blog/looking-after-yourself-so-that-you-can-look-after-others

Good luck and good health to you all.

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