Look after yourself


Michaela Meade

Mental health advocates headspace are calling for people to look after themselves during metro Melbourne’s extended circuit breaker lockdown.

Headspace clinical advice and governance manager Rupert Saunders said the effort to contain the COVID-19 virus has had an impact on how young people interact with family and friends, and how they can access work and study.

“For many young people, lockdown can be challenging – and it is normal to feel sad, angry or scared at this uncertain time,” Mr Saunders said.

“The sheer volume of information about COVID-19 can be overwhelming too.”

Mr Saunders said there are many “practical steps” a person can take to look after their mental health during this turbulent period.

“Staying connected with the people who are important to them, even if it is over the phone or online,” he said.

“Taking a break from the news cycle; this may include switching off social media, the TV and radio for a while.

“Making the most of the permitted time for outdoor activity.

“[And] doing things they know help them to feel calm and grounded.

“If you are a young person – or a family member or friend of a young person – who needs support during this lockdown, consider connecting with eheadspace.”

eheadspace is the organisation’s online and telephone support and counselling service, run by qualified mental health professionals.

Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health manager community mental health Adam Stefano said it’s important to embrace extra time at home to find positive habits.

“It’s worth remembering that you are allowed to exercise outside with one other person so arranging to go for a walk is a great way to get out of the house and meet up with a friend,” Mr Stefano said.

“Exercise is so important for your mental health and there are many ways you can keep your fitness up during lockdown with a number of guided classes available for free online.”

eheadspace is free, confidential and available daily between 9am and 1am.

Details: headspace.org.au