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COVID-19, LOCKDOWN AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Mental Health

As a practicing Registered Nurse, I am all too familiar with people’s failing mental health. At current I am a surgical nurse in a Melbourne hospital and have provided care to people whom have attempted self harm.

Mental Health

Outlined in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Mental Health Services Australia: Web Report. 1 in 17 hospital separations are mental health related of which 63.6% included specialised psychiatric care and one third required involuntary admissions. Furthermore, 4.3 million Australian’s received mental health related prescriptions with a total cost of $9.9 billion within the same period.

The Australian Government, Department of Health states that “Almost half of all Australians aged 16 to 85 years — 7.3 million people — will experience mental illness at some point in their life”. The top two mental health issues experienced by Australian’s are depression and anxiety with women more likely than men to experience the two.

mental health

With that knowledge it is hard to think past the mental health situation currently bubbling beneath the surface of the current pandemic involving COVID-19 and what it means for millions of Australian’s.

Family Violence

Family violence has also seen a 6.6% increase due to the current pandemic. As mentioned in the Centre for Global Development, A Gender Lens on COVID-19: Pandemics and Violence against Women and Children. Economic stress correlate with poor coping strategies which in turn present a greater risk of the likelihood family violence will occur.

As COVID-19 continues to negatively impact the Australian economy it is sending many families into poverty and leaving them with a deep feeling of uncertainty for the first time in their lives.

If you reside in Metropolitan Melbourne, than you’re currently in your first week of Stage 4 Lock down which includes a curfew. For many the increasing anxiety brought on by COVID-19 and potentially losing their primary means of income as well as a sense of loss of freedom is causing a range of issues to present.

Get Active

As a Registered Nurse I know recovery takes time and that there is no one size fits all approach. I also know that exercise is a great way to boost our mood and release endorphins which helps with our mental health. I can not express enough the importance of physical exercise.

Under Stage 4 restrictions our ability to exercise has been reduced to just one hour a day before 8pm. Set yourself a goal to be active for that hour, it can be hard to get motivated especially if you have a case of ISO Blues but you need to.

Phone a friend and walk together on the phone (not physically), set a scavenger hunt and see who can take the best picture or start an ISO channel and get others to join you.

It has never been more important to remain connected to people, I know that in isolation it can feel that you’re alone but you are not alone.

And please, don’t forget to reach out if you need to speak to someone.

Life Line

As a caring and hands on dad, Simon devotes himself to his family, career and health.

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