News

Physical & Mental Health Resources During COVID-19

Monday, 26 July 2021

Whether we are managing the challenges of lockdown in Australia or the Pacific, missing family who are far away, or feeling stressed or anxious, maintaining our physical and mental health as best we can during COVID-19 is vital.  

Below is a list of free, evidence-based mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health resources developed by trusted organisations. Many have been specifically created to promote wellbeing during the pandemic. Information to support children through lockdown and families at risk of experiencing domestic violence is also included.

If you are aware of additional health resources that may be of interest to fellow Australia Awards and Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) scholars and alumni based in Australia and the Pacific Islands, please share them with us for inclusion in this list: info@australiaawardsleadership.org

 

COVID-19 Health Advice

Federal Australian Government COVID-19 Information regularly updated by the Department of Health includes the latest news, case numbers, information on vaccines, travel, restrictions, and more to help protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. You can also call the COVID-19 helpline (1800 020 080) for more information.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance have released information about COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples residing in Australia.

The Pacific Community (SPC) has a dedicated page on Pacific Community COVID-19 Updates which is regularly updated as new information is received.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has a dedicated page on COVID-19 in the Western Pacific which includes the latest situation reports, regional technical advice, vaccine information, news, and stories from the region. Downloadable resources to help prevent transmission are also available.


Mental, Social and Emotional Wellbeing Resources

Beyond Blue offers a COVID-19 Mental Wellbeing Support Service which includes a support line (1800 512 348), online forum and web chat, and useful tips for social and emotional wellbeing.

Gayaa Dhuwi Australia creates social and emotional wellbeing and mental health resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including a comprehensive page on COVID-19 related resources.

Lifeline offers 24-hour mental health crisis support (13 11 44) and suicide prevention services. Their COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing website page also provides anxiety reduction strategies.

Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services’ website has a comprehensive page dedicated to mental health wellness which includes self-help strategies and a range of support options.

WLI partner Mandala Staff Support provides psychological and psychosocial support to the aid and development sector. Their website’s dedicated page on aid worker wellbeing provides downloadable resources on managing psychosocial risk and self-care in a humanitarian context.

The Australian Psychological Society has developed information sheets on dealing with lockdown fatigue and anxiety, and maintaining mental health during isolation.

The Black Dog Institute has created COVID-specific resources for anxiety, stress and wellbeing. These include a free online assessment to help determine your mental health, fact sheets and checklists available for download, and wellbeing resources designed for First Nations people.

Wellmob provides online resources for social, emotional, and cultural wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Meditation Resources

Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit organisation that worked with psychologists and educators to develop a meditation and mindfulness app. The free app is designed for children and adults, and the Thrive Inside page on their website also has a range COVID-19 relevant information sheets.

UCLA Mindful is a free science-based mindfulness app developed by the Mindful Awareness Research Centre at the University of California (UCLA) featuring about a dozen meditations ranging from 3-19 minutes long. 


Domestic Violence Support

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) is Australia’s national confidential sexual assault, domestic-family violence counselling service. Web chat counselling and referral to local services you in your area are also available through their website and hotline.

Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria has compiled a list of Australian national and state-based services to support people who are, or know someone who is, experiencing or perpetrating family violence in Australia.

Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development has created a list of sexual, domestic and family violence services and crisis centres operating in the Pacific Islands.

Fiji: National Domestic Violence Hotline provides free 24-hour telephone crisis counselling (1560) for women and children in Fiji who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing family violence.

Papua New Guinea: 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain (7150 8000) is a free, confidential 24-hour helpline for anyone experiencing domestic or sexual violence in Papua New Guinea.

Samoa: Samoa Victim Support Group offers a free, confidential 24-hour helpline (800 7874) for anyone experiencing domestic or sexual violence in Samoa.

Solomon Islands: SAFENET is a referral network of gender-based violence support services coordinated by the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs. Call the tollfree hotline (132) for information and referral to the most appropriate service for you.

Tonga:Women and Children Crisis Centre Tonga (WCCC) (777 7200) provides counselling, refuge and advocacy for survivors of domestic violence and sexual and child abuse in Tonga.  

Vanuatu:Vanuatu Women’s Centre offers a free, confidential 24-hour helpline (25764) and support services for victims of domestic and sexual violence in Vanuatu.

 

Supporting Children

Emerging Minds has developed resources to support children during COVID-19. They include video, audio, online and printable resources to help you talk to children about the pandemic, manage routines, and use play to support young people through lockdown.

UNICEF has shared healthy eating and food preparation tips to help your family maintain a safe, nutritious diet during COVID-19.

 

Diet and Nutrition

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has created a poster on healthy eating and living in the Pacific during COVID-19. Additional FAO resources for diet and nutrition before, during and after the pandemic are also available.

The Pacific Community (SPC) provides resources and fact sheets on diet and nutrition for noncommunicable disease prevention and staying healthy during the pandemic. The SPC has also created a wellness booklet to help us keep track of our health.