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    Mental Health During Adversity

    tim goedhart vnpTRdmtQ30 unsplash320In recent days, there has been much media talking about the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak as a result of self-isolating and the stress and anxiety that comes from the economic implications for individuals, businesses and communities.

    For those of us in the regions, it comes on top of the drought and the fires we have experienced over the last year or two. Here are some tips for looking after yourself during these difficult times:

    • Try to maintain perspective - while it is reasonable for people to be concerned about the outbreak of coronavirus, try to remember that medical, scientific and public health experts around the world are working hard to contain the virus, treat those affected and develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.
    • Find a healthy balance in relation to media coverage - being exposed to large volumes of negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety. While it’s important to stay informed, you may find it useful to limit your media intake if it is upsetting you or your family.
    • Access good quality information - it’s important to get accurate information from credible sources. This will also help you maintain perspective and feel more in control.

    Managing your mental health while in self-isolation can be assisted with the following techniques:

    • Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of the virus
    • Remember that your effort is helping others in the community avoid contracting the virus
    • Stay connected with friends, family and colleagues via email, social media, or telephone
    • Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing
    • Keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy foods
    • Try to maintain physical activity
    • Establish healthy routines
    • Avoid news and social media if you find it distressing
    • If you need practical help reach out to friends, family or local support services for assistance

    Please keep in touch with members of your community and look after each other as much as possible.

    Resources

    • Remember that a whole range of feelings are very normal in this extraordinary situation. Everyone will be reacting differently and that is ok. What is important is to monitor the mood and behaviour of yourself and others and ask for help when you need it. Download and print out the How Are You Going? flyer as a reminder of behaviours, thoughts and feelings to keep an eye on.
    • Visit this page with links to articles and helpful hints: https://www.crrmh.com.au/covid-19-coronavirus-information/ 

    Getting support

    If you have questions or you are concerned about your own or someone else’s mental health please feel free to contact any of the following:

    • Andrew Daley (RAMHP Coordinator) in Armidale - 0428 109 990.
    • Matthew Milne (Rural Adversity Mental Health Coordinator) in Tamworth - (02) 6767 7916 or mob 0437 989 044.
    • Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days) or text  0477 13 11 14 (6pm – midnight AEDT, 7 nights) or chat online: https://www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat (7pm – midnight, 7 nights)
    • Download this handy list of online help and services and place it on your fridge.
    • Download this handy list of telephone help and services as well.
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