Maintaining mental health and wellbeing has been a concern during the COVID-19 situation. There have also been concerns about financial challenges, increasing drug and alcohol use and escalating domestic violence. What specific resources are available that support us to do something about these things during this time?
We recently published a story about the Disability Royal Commission releasing a "Statement of Concern" that the particular needs of people with disability had not been specifically addressed at the beginning of the COVID-19 situation.
National Mental Health Commission CEO Christine Morgan has spoken about new evidence emerging on how certain groups of people are being "uniquely affected" by the pandemic restrictions and lockdowns. Restrictions are contributing to social and economic stressors that negatively affect people’s mental health. Many people who already live with mental health issues are experiencing greater challenges to their recovery journey during this situation.
To address this, The National Mental Health Commission has developed a communication program called #GettingThroughThisTogether. The program is an evidence-based, so the tips it provides are backed by data.
“This program builds on the success of #InThisTogether which launched earlier this year in phase one of the pandemic,” says Christine Morgan, “It acknowledges the stressors and difficulties associated with COVID-19.”
“Importantly, #GettingThroughThisTogether acknowledges the reality of the longevity of COVID-19, the fatigue that many are experiencing and the impact of uncertainty on Australians’ mental health and wellbeing.” No doubt referring to the situation in Victoria, Morgan goes on to say. “It also recognises that when we know how difficult something is, it is usually harder the second time.”
The objectives of the program are to provide helpful information to all Australians including:
- the importance of looking after our mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19
- a reminder, especially in light of the second lockdown in Victoria, that "we got through this once and we will get through this again".
- the importance of continuing to remain connected with people
- the steps that someone can take to look after themselves or seek professional help
People who are interested in accessing #GettingThroughThisTogether resources can find them via https://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/gettingthroughthistogether.
By Warren Heggarty from Panorama Magazine
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