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Mental health during COVID-19

Friday, May 8, 2020

Looking after your mental health has always been important. Now with COVID-19 and physical distancing restrictions, how we look after our physical and mental health may change.

There are many things we can do at home to help with stress, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. This will support not only our own mental health, but those living with us, our neighbours and colleagues.

Remember that though this time is currently tough for many of us, it is only temporary and will pass.

General tips for mental health while physically distancing:

Stay connected

Talking, laughing, joking and even arguing with our friends and loved ones over a phone call or digital meeting, helps to create a sense of normalcy as we connect.

Connect with your family by learning how to play a favourite board game online, or teach a grandparent about the wonderful online resources at the Bayside Library.

Take a break

Screen time is increasing in the way we now work. Make sure to take regular screen breaks by completing different tasks or exercising (inside or in your local area while maintaining physical distancing).

If you find yourself feeling more tired, anxious or stressed through listening to pandemic information, take a break from the news and do something that relaxes your mind.

Maintaining routine and hobbies

Routine is good for the mind, it allows for structure and a sense of certainty. If you are an early riser and usually wear business attire while sitting at a desk, you may want to continue this routine. Maintaining routines as much as possible will support the eventual transition as restrictions are lifted.

Hobbies are a way for you to relax and engage in activities that create enjoyment. Though some hobbies may need to change, such as mountain climbing, finding alternatives like a brisk walk, let us feel that sense of satisfaction, just in a new way.

Looking for other ideas? See our articles on:

Sometimes however, these resources are not enough and we may find ourselves experiencing poor mental health or feeling isolated. If you or someone you know is constantly feeling anxious or uncertain, professional help is available.

Needing support:

If you, or someone you know, is needing support, call Council on 9599 4444 and speak to one of our friendly staff.


From the DHHS mental health resources during COVID-19:

Lifeline Australia 13 11 14 - A crisis support service offering short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe. 

Beyond Blue 1300 224 636- Mental health information and support for all Victorians. 

Eheadspace 1800 650 893- Online and webchat support and counselling for 12-25 year olds, their family and friends. 

MensLine - professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Phone 1300 78 99 78 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). 

Mindspot - free telephone and online service for people with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood or depression. It provides online assessment and treatment for anxiety and depression and can help you find local services. Call 1800 61 44 34 (8am - 8pm, Monday - Friday; 8am-6pm, Saturday).

Suicide Call Back Service - mental health support, call back service: 1300 659 467 or online (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

Youth focused mental health and support services

Headspace - Call eheadspace on 1800 650 890 

Kids Helpline - Call 1800 55 1800 

ReachOut - Online resources for youth mental health

SANE Australia - Call 1800 187 263 

Specialist areas

1800Respect - confidential counselling, information and support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse via phone or online chat. Phone: 1800 737 732 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). 1800Respect online chat.

Directline - confidential alcohol and drug counselling and referral service. Phone: 1800 888 236 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). 

Switchboard Victoria - telephone and web counselling, information, and referral service for LGBTQI people. Phone: 1800 184 527 (3pm - 12am, 7 days a week).

See the DHHS website for further resources and information.