Last updated: 01 Jun, 2020

You can use the resources on this page to encourage healthy mental wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Key messages

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Key messages

HOW TO REDUCE RISK OF INFECTION: 

Victorians should act now to reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The situation is changing rapidly so please visit the Department of Health and Human Services website regularly for updated information.

 

Current measures on physical distancing: 

  • The message people need to hear: if you can stay at home – you must stay at home.

  • The only five reasons you should leave home are: 

    • To shop for food and supplies,

    • To exercise or for recreation, 

    • For medical care (or to assist someone else with their care),

    • Or to go to work or study (if you can’t do this from home),

    • Visiting friends and family – if you really need to.

 

Some restrictions have been cautiously eased so people can look after their own and others’ health, wellbeing and social connection. From 11.59pm on Sunday 31 May Victorians  are able to:

  • Have up to 20 family and friends at your home. For example, if you are a household of five people, you can 15 visitors.

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to  20 people can happen for non-contact sport and recreation in public settings, such as National, State and public parks. The 20 person limit is inclusive of your household. That means for a family of five, you can be in a group with 15 people from outside your household.

  • Small gatherings of up to 20  people can occur at some indoor facilities such as places of worship and community centres – along with those required to run the facilities. The four-square metre rule applies in these settings.        

  •  And we must keep at least 1.5 metres from other people and practise good hand hygiene.  If you feel unwell, even if you have tested negative for coronavirus, you must stay home.

 

 

About mental wellbeing and coronavirus
 
  • Coronavirus will have a concerning impact on the mental health of Victorians.

  • Many people will be feeling lonely as they physically isolate from others in a bid to help slow the spread of the virus.

  • We also know many in our community are feeling anxious about coronavirus and the risk it poses to our physical health and that of our friends and loved ones.   

  • Coronavirus will affect people’s livelihoods, our jobs and our way of life so it’s crucial that we look after our mental health and take care of each other as best we can.

  • During this challenging time, it’s important to pay attention to our mental health and not completely cut ourselves off from our loved ones and our community. 

 

 


Tips for staying mentally healthy

  • Keep socially connected to others via phone, social media, email or Skype.

  • If you’re feeling lonely or anxious, visit family or friends, or invite a friend or family member to your home. Gatherings at home of up to five people at any one time can now happen in Victoria.

  • If the news is bothering you, take a break from it.

  • Create a routine to maintain a sense of normalcy, such as regular physical activity, cooking healthy meals and continuing to work or study if you feel well enough and can do so from home. 

  • Focus on what you can control – for example washing your hands frequently, following physical distancing guidelines – instead of what you can’t control ie what other people do.

  • To avoid panic, get your information from reliable sources such as the federal and Victorian health departments.

  • Practice mindfulness: focus on the moment you’re in. Meditation and breathing exercises can help calm your mind and reduce anxiety.

  • Take stock of your emotions: it’s completely normal to feel concerned or upset about what is happening. If you feel anxious, talk to a trusted friend or family member or seek professional help: Phone Lifeline: 13 11 14, BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636 or Headspace: 1800 650 890.


  

Useful tools

Resource Institution Description
Head to Health Australian Government   General mental health website with a dedicated COVID-19 mental health support page. 
Coronavirus and mental health fact sheets Australian Psychological Society Tips and resources on coping with COVID-19 anxiety. 
Looking after your mental health during coronavirus Superfriend Tips to help you maintain mental wellbeing, and offers a COVID-19 support kit. 
Coronavirus mental wellbeing support service Beyond Blue Information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time. 
Coping during the coronavirus outbreak Beyond Blue Interactive forum post with information on how to look after your mental health.
Support for those impacted by adverse events Life in Mind and the National Mental Health Commission Mental health resources and information to support people impacted by COVID-19
Online peer support for mental health  SANE Australia Lived experience forums with features on COVID-19. 
Coronavirus: Resources for anxiety, stress & wellbeing  Black Dog Institute Comprehensive advice on managing anxiety and wellbeing and access to online support.
Information, preparation, and maintaining mental and physical wellbeing  MindSpot A government-funded online service which has information on maintaining mental and physical wellbeing during the pandemic. 
Risk communication  World Health Organisation WHO has developed Social Stigma Guidelines for safe reporting on COVID-19. 
Guided meditations  Insight Timer  A free library of guided meditations.
Grief and Bereavement and COVID-19 Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement Resources about how bereavement and grief may be affected by this pandemic.

  

Videos