The Mental Health Commission of New South Wales recognises that people are feeling worried, stressed and anxious in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19). There are many sources of information available, which can also add to a sense of confusion on how to respond.
While information will develop to keep pace with the progress of COVID-19, we have gathered the following advice and information for you from our partners.
This is a time to support each other and keep yourself up-to-date so that you can help all your families and friends to be safe.
General support services
- Beyond Blue, funded by the Commission and other funders, has helpful tips on how to look after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. Access their Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service online or by calling 1800 512 348.
- Head to Health is a Federal Government site dedicated to providing trusted information and digital supports to help your mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic.
- The Australian Psychological Society has an information sheet on how to cope with coronavirus anxiety.
- The World Health Organisation has issued a statement about mental health and the coronavirus.
- RUOK? have some tips about looking out for family members or friends who are struggling.
- ReachOut has '10 ways to take care of yourself during coronavirus'.
- The Butterfly Foundation has tips and advice for people with eating disorders.
- Phoenix Australia has tips for you and your family, and some tips to help health practitioners care for their patients' and their own mental wellbeing..
- Wayahead Directory has a list of mental health and community services.
- Black Dog Institute has a list of evidence-based tools and resources for you and your community.
- Resilient Community Organisations has a toolkit to help organisations measure and improve their resilience to disasters and emergencies.
- Black Dog Institute has Coronavirus resources for anxiety and stress
Support for people with lived experience of mental health issues
- Being is a mental wellbeing and consumer advisory group that advocates for people with lived experience of mental health issues, and provides training in mental health issues. Follow Being on Facebook to get updates on training and other opportunities to get involved.
- Flourish Australia provide support for people with mental health issues, including peer support.
- Neami National provide support for people with mental health issues, including peer support.
Support for carers
- The Commission funds Mental Health Carers NSW who provide advocacy and support for families, relatives and friends of people who experience mental health issues, living in NSW. Follow them on Facebook for more updates.
- Carers NSW has regular updates on COVID-19 about relevant information and resources for carers and service providers.
- Carer Peer Connect runs an online drop-in, known as Carer Hangout for carers across NSW. Carer Hangout is a safe space for carers to come together and chat during this period of social isolation. Mondays from 2pm to 4pm and Fridays from 10am to 12pm.
- Grow continues to operate online, offering peer-to-peer support during these difficult times.
Support for children, young people and families
- Emerging Minds have resources about talking to children about disasters or traumatic events.
- Kids Helpline is a phone counselling service for children and young people.
- Orygen has information for young people and families.
- ReachOut Parents provides online free personalised support assistance to help you support your teenagers through a tough time.
- Parent Line (1300 1300 52) is a telephone counselling, information and referral service for parents of children aged 0 to 18 years who live in NSW.
- Relationships Australia Victoria have easy-to-read resources developed specifically to help you navigate the challenges you might be facing as a result of COVID-19.
- The Digital Lunchbreak website assist children and young people with finding online resources and activities to do at home in their lunch break, around learning hours and on weekends.
- WayAhead's Small Steps program is moving online and is now more accessible than ever. Small Steps empowers parents, caregivers and teachers to identify and manage anxiety disorders in primary shcool-aged children. The webinar is free, but each session will be capped, so book your place now.
- PANDA has expert and accessible information and resources for expecting and new parents.
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.
- Communities and Justice have useful information for seniors, people with disability and carers.
Support for rural and remote communities
- Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health for resources, information and support, as well as a podcast on COVID-19 and mental health.
Support for culturally and linguistically diverse communities
- For multilingual information on COVIDー19, visit the NSW Health website or on the Multicultural Health Communication Service website.
- Embrace Multicultural Mental Health has many supports available.
Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- AH&MRC has a list of useful resources on Social and Emotional Wellbeing, Alcohol and other drugs, and Youth.
- Beyond Blue have tips and resourcing on social and emotional wellbeing and mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Support for sexuality and gender diverse communities
- ACON has issued a statement with advice for community members, especially LGBTIQ+ people. ACON also provides confidential counselling to people in our communities seeking support in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. Contact ACON on (02) 9206 2000 or 1800 063 060 or go to acon.org.au.
- QLife offers LGBTI peer support and referral via telephone (1800 184 527) or webchat for Australians wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
Support for health professionals
- The Blackdog Institute has developed The Essential Network (TEN), a tool designed by health professionals for health professionals. TEN helps healthcare workers find resources and support to manage burnout and maintain good mental health.
Support at work
- SafeWork NSW have COVID-19 resources available for both employers and workers on their website.
- SafeWork Australia have tips for managing stress as a result of COVID-19.
- WayAhead Workplaces have compiled resources from various sources to help you do your job in workplace health and wellbeing during this unique time in the world.
- Small Business Commissioner NSW has information and supports for small business owners struggling during the pandemic.
- Multicultural Health Communication Service has provided COVID-19 resources translated into languages other than English.
- BeyondBlue has provided information on managing your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in languages other than English.
General health information and tips
- Make sure you access evidence-based information about coronavirus, for example the World Health Organisation, Australian Government coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert, NSW Government and NSW Health.
- People with Disability Australia have published information on their website about the NDIS and coronavirus.
- A response to COVID-19 and impact on mental health: The work of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System continues while they maintain their focus on designing a mental health system that is able to respond to current and emerging pressures. Statement from the Commissioners.
- Department of Social Services has information and referrals for people with disability and their supporters about COVID-19.
- Mental Health Foundation Australia have extended their helplines, with a new telehealth service, and their support
- Mindframe supports safe media reporting, portrayal and communication about suicide, mental ill-health, alcohol and other drugs.
- Emerging Minds have guidelines for media professionals reporting on disaster or community trauma events.
In an emergency
If you, a friend or family member are experiencing distress please contact one of the following numbers:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
- Mental Health Line 1800 011 511.