The National Mental Health Commission (NHMC) has announced #GettingThroughThisTogether, which they describe as a national conversation to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians as COVID-19 rolls on.
The campaign is designed to build on the success of #InThisTogether, which the NHMC launched in response to the pandemic a few months ago.
#GettingThroughThisTogether provides practical tips and shareable online resources to stay connected and mentally well during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Research conducted by mental health organisations, governments and universities has identified the impacts of lockdowns and restrictions on specially at-risk groups, and the broader community.
Stressors include unemployment, access to education, financial insecurity and uncertainty.
Christine Morgan, CEO of the National Mental Health Commission said, ‘We have been affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways.
‘The reality of the longevity of COVID-19 and its uncertainty has set in, and along with it comes fatigue and frustration as some jurisdictions are forced to return to, or canvas, increased restrictions.
‘When we know how difficult something is, it is usually harder the second time,’ Ms Morgan said. ‘This is particularly the case for young people and the vulnerable.’
#GettingThroughThisTogether has prioritised key at groups at-risk including:
- Women and children who are living in unsafe homes and victims of family and domestic violence
- People struggling with financial stress and distress due to unemployment
- Young people, especially those who are undertaking year 12 and at university
- Women who shouldered a large share of the household burden during the first lockdown and are facing it once again
- People who are already vulnerable, living by themselves or have been dislocated from their community and support services
Collaborations to enhance wellbeing
NMHC Chair, Lucy Brogden, said the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians remains a key pillar of the national response to COVID-19.
‘#GettingThroughThisTogether has been developed in collaboration with our country’s leading mental health organisations and social issues experts,’ she said.
‘The advice and tips build on the core evidence-based findings since March 2020 to support Australians’ mental health and wellbeing and respond to the experiences we are living with now, and likely to be living with over the coming months.’
There are 10 new practical tips developed in collaboration with more than 20 mental health and social service organisations to help all Australians to get through these extraordinary times:
- There is no place for domestic or family violence – help is here
- Caring for yourself helps you care for others
- Financial stress is real stress – seek free support today
- It’s better not to bottle up your feelings – Take steps to change your drinking habits
- Make a routine that works for you
- Your support can make a difference – connect with people each day
- Choose me time over screen time
- Play your part – feel good by doing good
- Help is available if you reach out
- Make a break a regular thing
‘We need to care for one another, despite being physically separated,’ said Christine Morgan. ‘We need to check in with family and friends by calling them or connecting via video if we can.
‘The power of a person’s voice rather than typed words on a screen can be very powerful way to make a real connection, and we need to be heard,’ she said.
Ms Morgan said that it’s important to make a decision to get through the crisis together.
‘Help is available in many forms if and when you need help, or you know someone who needs help,’ she said.
Ms Morgan urged people to connect with one of the many free support lines available, seek help with your GP or with one of the professional services who contributed to #GettingThroughThisTogether.
Collaborating organisations for this program include BeyondBlue, Lifeline, Reachout, headspace, RUOK?, Black Dog Institute, SANE Australia and 19 others.