With the NSW Government announcing a two week extension to the Greater Sydney and Central Coast lockdown, Lifeline Hunter Central Coast is urging local people not to suffer in silence if the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are weighing on their mental health.
Lifeline Regional Manager for the Hunter and Central Coast, Julie Wicks, said that Lifeline is there for everyone 24/7.
“Extended lockdowns and restrictions mean that people are feeling more anxious, more isolated or lonely, or struggling with consequent business and job impacts.
“Nationally, Lifeline is continuing to receive a 25 percent increase in calls since the surge in new COVID-19 cases began in July.
“We expect to respond to more than one million requests for support.
“People on the Central Coast are having to negotiate extended lockdowns and altered school arrangements.
“People are separated from families, and businesses have had reduced trade during what would have been a busy school holiday period.
“It is understandable to feel worried or overwhelmed, just having someone to listen can make a huge difference.
“Lifeline is here to listen and to offer hope via 13 11 14, text or online chat,” Wicks said.
Wicks said that free face-to-face and video counselling services were another way Lifeline could help local people.
Due to the ongoing lockdown, video counselling will be available only at the Wyoming centre.
“Our qualified counsellors are there for anyone struggling with personal issues.
“The service is free, you don’t need a referral and we have available appointments.
“Everyone can help by giving people they know who may be living alone or vulnerable a call or message.
“We can all get through this if we are kind to others and look out for each other.
“The increased demand for services highlights the outstanding work that Lifeline’s volunteer counsellors and telephone crisis support operators do every day.
“We are always looking to hear from people who wish to contribute to their community, and benefit, from becoming a Lifeline volunteer,” Wicks said.
Lifeline can be called on 13 11 14 and is available 24 hours a day.
Lifeline Text operates from 6pm till 12am and can be reached on 0477 13 11 14.
Chat online is available at www.lifeline.org.au from 7pm till 12am.
Bookings for counselling appointments can be made on 1300 152 854.
Media Release, July 14