The NSW Mental Health Commission 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

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.  They have a dedicated page for carers with information related to COVID-19 . 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

Support for rural and remote communities

Support for culturally and linguistically diverse communities

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 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. 
  • ComCare have developed guidance and resources for employers and employees impacted by COVID-19.
  • Small Business Commissioner NSW has information and supports for small business owners struggling during the pandemic.

General health information and tips

Media guidelines

  • 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.

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Last updated: 5 June 2020