Business guide to Coronavirus

COVID-19 mental health support service

A dedicated mental health support service is available to help manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your mental health and wellbeing, a challenge many business owners are facing.

Funded by the Australian Government and delivered by Beyond Blue, this free mental health support service is available 24/7, delivering clear, evidence-based information, advice and support specifically tailored to the mental health and wellbeing challenges as a result of the pandemic.

The site provides comprehensive information about a range of issues including: 

  • how to cope with loneliness and self-isolation
  • managing your mental health if you have the virus
  • ways to deal with job loss and financial stress 
  • how to support friends and family 
  • coping as a healthcare worker 
  • support for essential service workers and small businesses.

Trained mental health professionals are specifically briefed about the evolving public health advice and trained to link callers to other relevant services, such as those relating to financial aid, family violence support and official government COVID-19 information sources. They will make clinical referrals and escalate people to more intensive mental health care as required.

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Beyond Blue Chair The Hon Julia Gillard AC said the service would be further developed in the coming weeks and months to guide all Australians through uncertain and trying times.

“We anticipate growing demand for mental health support as this pandemic develops, both from people who are already managing mental health issues and those who have never struggled before,” Ms Gillard said.

“We’ve built this service rapidly because we understand that all Australians need this support immediately and that now more than ever, prevention matters.

“Just as people are looking after their physical health, we’re asking people to actively look after their mental health.

Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said the service would evolve to reflect the changing needs of the community.

“At Beyond Blue, we’ve seen a 30% spike in contacts over the past two weeks and on some days, as many as one in three calls to our existing Support Service is about COVID-19,” Ms Harman said.

“People are telling us they’re feeling overwhelmed, worried, lonely, concerned about their physical health and the health of friends and loved ones, and anxious about money, job security and the economy.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Different people will need different types of support for their mental health and wellbeing.”

Check out the new service

The Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Service is available 24/7 and can be accessed here

Its dedicated phone line, staffed by mental health professionals briefed on the pandemic response, is now open on 1800 512 348.

Beyond Blue’s existing support service will continue to operate alongside the new service. The Beyond Blue Support Service is available via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via the website for online chat (3pm to 12am AEST or email responses within 24 hours).

At Business Australia, we’re here to help

To help ensure you have the right HR policies and procedures in place, you can download helpful resources like Business Australia's free Employer Toolkit, which includes:

  • Leave policy 
  • Letter to employee advising stand down 
  • Mental Health Policy 
  • Working from Home Checklist 
  • Working from Home Policy 
  • Ergonomics Checklist

 

Business Australia is on hand with a range of resources to help businesses navigate this difficult time, with practical advice and information to help you develop strategies to maintain and sustain. Visit our resource hub to find out more.

Catherine Ngo

Senior Editor and Content Writer, Business Australia

Catherine is passionate about unravelling the latest news and insights to help entrepreneurs, small business owners and employers.

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