Community leaders are reminding those who may be struggling that help is only a call away as the national mental health charity, Lifeline, has recorded a 25 percent increase in calls during the current COVID-19 lockdown and that number expected to rise.
Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, said she urged community members to reach out for help and contact Lifeline if they were experiencing any mental health challenges during lockdown.
“I know the lockdown is causing so much grief in our community and I, along with Lifeline, want the community to know help is available if you need it,” Tesch said.
“Financial anxiety is at a high, physical health certainty is at a low, we cannot do the things we want to do, and we cannot connect with our nearest and dearest during isolation, which is when we need them most.
“I want to assure you all that it is okay not to be okay and to contact someone for help.”
Regional General Manager of Lifeline Hunter Central Coast, Julie Wicks, said she would like to encourage people to advance their mental health knowledge.
“Training in self-care and in having the skills to identify and help someone in crisis, or approaching crisis point, makes for a mentally healthier and more productive workplace,” Wicks said.
“Being a volunteer also really helps put your own life into perspective and I encourage people to become involved in Lifeline services.”
Tesch said it was time for businesses to up their skills in mental health support.
“As we work our way to lower case numbers and out of lockdown it is important we know the signs of someone in need and the way to approach those who are struggling inside,” Tesch said.
“Whether you’re in the hairdressing profession, which is known for listening and providing advice to so many people, or whether you are in the construction industry, where men are 53 percent more likely to die by taking their own life in comparison to other industries, now is the time to learn how to approach and deal with our own, or other people’s mental health struggles.”
Contact can also be made via online chat through Lifeline’s website from 7pm to midnight each night.
More information on mental health workplace training can also be found on Lifeline’s website.
Source: Media release, July 26 Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch