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.