The amount of change that we have experienced in our community in a few short months has been for want of a better word “unprecedented,” and as a result it is only natural that a lot of us are noticing an increase in feelings of depression and anxiety. There has also been a huge overload of information, usually negative in the media and a loss of daily routine which is what we use to ground our self and often give our self-purpose.
It is only natural, that for a large proportion of the community our mental health is being affected.
At Leichhardt GP, we want you to know that we are hear to listen and help. There are many options open to you. There are a huge number of community resources, including online, phone lines, mental health care plans and referral to psychologists and medications if needed.
Some helpful approaches that we are taking here at the practice to help take care of our mental health include:
- Trying to avoid media overload.
o It is important to stay up to date with government instructions and guidelines but if you are finding that having the news on all the time is feeding into your anxiety or upsetting you or your family, it is important to turn it off for a while and do something different like listen to music, watch a movie or go for a walk.
- Seek support.
o If you are feeling overwhelmed; it is important to recognise these feelings and talk to a friend or come and see your GP. As we said earlier, there is a lot we can do to help.
- Maintain perspective.
o Our situation in Australia is not the same as the USA or Europe. We have done a great job of flattening the curve and your risk of developing COVID at this point in time is currently very low as long as we continue to practice social distancing, good hand hygiene, staying home when we are unwell and testing for COVID if we are sick.
- Take care of yourself and others.
o Go for a walk, get some fresh air, eat well.
o Try to get 8 hours of sleep per night
o Taking care of yourself will make you feel better
- Be careful about how much you are drinking.
o Alcohol might make you feel better at the time but it is a depressant so it will usually make you feel worse the next day.
o Try to stick to 2 alcohol free days per week and 2 drinks per day on the days you are drinking.
Please see some helpful resources listed below:
General support services
§ Beyond Blue: Beyond Blue, or call 1800 512 348.
§ Head to Health: Head to Health
§ Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety: Australian Psychological Society
§ RUOK? RUOK?
§ The Butterfly Foundation: Butterfly Foundation
Support for children, young people and parents
§ Kids Health Line Kids Helpline
§ Reachout: ReachOut Parents
§ Parentline Parent Line (1300 1300 52)
Support for older people
§ The National COVID Older Persons Information Line offers support from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6pm on 1800 171 866.
1. Mental Health and the Coronavirus. Mental Health Commission of New South Wales: https://nswmentalhealthcommission.com.au/mental-health-and-the-coronavirus 30/05/20.