Dr Matthew Cullen, Psychiatrist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney
If you feel overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, what are you going to do? How do you get help?
Well, the first thing is what are you overwhelmed about? Because the help will be in large measure dictated by why you are overwhelmed.
So, if you are overwhelmed, and you are feeling anxious and worried. You feel that you have mental health issues that are getting worse. Or that you in fact are getting stress or mental health symptoms that you didn’t have before, there are a couple of things you should do.
The first is, share it with somebody. Talk to a family member. Talk to a friend. See how they are feeling. And that will help put things into perspective.
Secondly, talk to your family doctor. You don’t have to physically go in and see your GP. Many GPs are offering telehealth services and you can have a remote consultation with your GP. If you have got an existing relationship with a mental health professional, talk to them about it.
There are also a number of services the Federal Government and the private sector have funded to help with people who have anxiety disorders and depression, be that adults or kids. Some good examples are Lifeline, if you are feeling particularly overwhelmed and in crisis, or Beyondblue or finally headspace, which is designed for young adults.
Mental health helplines
If you or someone you know is feeling distressed and/or having suicidal thoughts, see your doctor, phone one of these helplines or click on the links below for online web chat counselling or support. Call 000 if life is in danger.
|Lifeline (24 hours)||13 11 14|
|Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years)||1800 55 1800|
|Beyond Blue Support Service (24 hours)||1300 22 4636|
|MensLine Australia (24 hours)||1300 78 99 78|
|SANE Helpline – mental illness information, support and referral||1800 187 263|
|Suicide Call Back Service (24 hours) – free counselling support||1300 659 467|