Coronavirus is a global emergency, which will almost certainly bring additional stress and may compound other mental health issues. Rapidly changing daily routines can cause distress in young people, so it is important to quickly establish a new routine if you are social distancing. Maintain honest communication with young people about why things are changing, and take cues from them to ease their distress.
Remember to ask children and young people how they are feeling. Uncertainty and illness can make young people feel distressed and it is important to take time to acknowledge and validate those feelings.
National Coronavirus Line 1800 020 080
- For advice on how to seek medical help or get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) you can contact your state or territory health authority, or call the coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline on 1800 020 080 at any time.
Mental health, safety & support
- If anyone is in immediate danger call 000.
- If you are experiencing domestic violence, please contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). You can also contact MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978 and the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 789 978.
- For personal crisis and mental health support services you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 at any time.
- Kids Helpline is a free service for young people aged 5 to 25. Kids, teens and young adults can call 1800 551 800 at any time.
- For the Department of Veterans’ Affairs call 1800 555 254.
- If you need phone and online safety advice contact esafety or the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
- Headspace has created a fantastic guide about how to cope with stress related to the outbreak.
- BeyondBlue has also created a similar resource for looking after your mental health during the outbreak.
- Public concern, social isolation and an increased focus on hygiene can be triggering for people with anxiety disorders and OCD. If you notice signs of increased anxiety or obsessive behaviour, take time to check-in with your child or young person and do a soothing activity together. The Washington Post has published an article about anxiety and coronavirus.
- If you or your child/young person experiences an eating disorder, the Butterfly Foundation have put together some tips and advice for how to navigate the outbreak, and media responses.
- World Health Organization: messages to keep calm and manage stress
Support for people living with a disability
- For National Disability Insurance Scheme enquiries, including service requests, plan and support changes and assistance, complaints, escalations and review requests, call 1800 800 110.
- For the Disability Information Helpline call 1800 643 787.
Support for individuals and households
- For national emergency relief services, including food, clothing, vouchers or help with bills, contact your local arm of The Salvation Army or St Vincent De Paul.
- If you or someone you know requires aged care support contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
- For financial counselling, including advice on managing debt, contact the free and confidential National Debt Helpline by calling 1800 007 007. You can also visit MoneySmart for advice to help you manage your money.
- Those on a low income may be eligible to apply for a ‘No Interest Loan’. For more information and details on how to apply, call 13 64 57 or visit Good Shepherd Microfinance.
- For information on JobSeeker payments, other income support payments and Centrelink services call Centrelink Employment Services on 13 28 50.
- For the ATO Customer Service Line, call 13 28 61.
- The Australian Tax Office offers a range of support and assistance to businesses and individuals effected by COVID-19, as well as other disasters such as bushfires, droughts and floods. You can contact the ATO Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218.
Support for Australians overseas and foreign citizens in Australia
- For information on visa rules and queries regarding extension of visas call 13 18 81 (within Australia) or +61 2 6196 0196 (outside Australia).
- The Consular Emergency Centre provides 24-hour support for Australians with serious and urgent needs. It is also for friends and family of Australians overseas. For urgent matters call 1300 555 135. For non-urgent matters visit smartraveller.