Healthy North Coast (HNC) is offering some simple health and wellbeing tips while people physical distance and self-isolate.
HNC delivers the Australian Government’s Primary Health Network program across the NSW North Coast. Glen James, HNC’s Executive Director of Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs, said it is crucial that we stay connected to family and friends while minimising the spread of COVID-19.
“As we’re learning, physical distancing is a good way to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases,” Ms James said.
“Simply put, it means having less contact between you and other people. It’s important because it helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from person to person.
“Significantly though, by distancing ourselves we potentially also withdraw from our social networks and communities, which are so critical for our ongoing mental wellbeing.”
Ms James advises people to make an effort to stay in touch with their regular networks.
“Experts advise that even when isolated, try as much as possible to keep your personal daily routines or create new ones,” she said.
“Even though we are limiting our physical social contact to help contain the outbreak, you can still stay connected via email, social media, video conference and telephone.”
HNC recommends exercising regularly, keeping regular sleep routines and eating healthy meals as good ways to promote positive mental health. Maintaining perspective is also important.
“If you’re feeling anxious about COVID-19, don’t immerse yourself in a constant stream of news reports about the latest outbreak,” Ms James said. “That would be enough to make anyone feel anxious or distressed.”
There are many valuable resources for people concerned about their own or a loved one’s mental health. Anyone needing support can call the Connect to Wellbeing service and be directed to the right information or a service that best suits your needs. Phone 1300 160 339, Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5pm.
For immediate 24/7 help contact:
- Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
- Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- NewAccess (developed by Beyond Blue): 1300 224 636
In an emergency call 000 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.