It’s understandable that during times like this, you may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by the constantly changing alerts and media coverage regarding the spread of the virus. While it is important to stay informed, it’s also more important than ever to look after your mental health and wellbeing.
Create a routine – Don’t burn yourself out! Set your study hours, and when they’re done, relax. Take me time – Factor in exercise, coffee breaks and time out from your studies, and make sure that you’re still making time to do things that bring you joy.
Look after yourself – Drink lots of water, eat balanced meals, don’t live in your pyjamas and get enough sleep. Take a break from news and social media – while the news cycle runs non-stop these days, that doesn’t mean that we have to always tune into it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the constant flow of information you may find it helpful to set a dedicated time in our day to check social media and news websites, or have a break from it altogether.
RUOK – Staying connected is more important than ever
Beyond Blue – Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak
Lifeline – Mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak. Lifeline offer free counselling via phone call on 13 11 14, or via text and online chat.Find out more here.
UniMelb - COVID-19: managing stress and anxiety for students. All University of Melbourne students have access to free counselling services, you can book an appointment here.
There are lots of simple ways we can look out for each other over this time, check out some ideas below.
Ask others if they’re OK – It’s very normal to not feel OK in challenging times such as these. Watching and listening to media and social media coverage and commentary can be confronting and confusing. However, at a time when we’re being asked to physically distance ourselves from one another, we can make use of freed up diary time and our digital devices to stay connected and check in with the welfare of others.
Australian Red Cross – Lifeblood are calling out to anyone who is feeling well and hasn’t travelled overseas in the past 28 days to come forward and donate blood. In fact, they will need 14,000 more donors in the next few weeks to prevent a shortage. It only takes an hour, but it could save someone’s life.
Priority food delivery – Woolworths are offering priority food delivery to seniors, people with disabilities or compromised immune systems. Sign up, or help out a friend or relative.
Connect with your neighbours – Use the Next Door app to connect with your neighbours. This new app helps communities help each other by offering assistance – be that grabbing groceries, fetching prescriptions, or a check in phone call. Other options include WhatsApp, where you can create groups based on phone numbers.
Donate to those in need – Pro Bono Australia lets your search through a list of trusted charities and contribute to the causes you care about.
Foster a pet – Stuck at home? Foster a pet! Help provide a safe environment for a pet in need until it finds its forever home. Even better, adopt a new family member! Please remember adopting a pet is a life-long commitment. Find out more from Pet Rescue or RSPCA.
Happify – Science-based games and activities to help reduce stress, overcome negative thoughts and build greater resilience. Download it on iOS store or Google Play.
Nike Training Club – Nike has loaded up a library of 185+ free fitness workouts, from strength and endurance-based routines to mobility and yoga sessions, to keep you active while we’re all stuck at home. Download it on the iOS store or Google Play.
7 Minute Workout – This app is your solution to the classic “I want to work out, but I don’t have time” conundrum. With free no equipment needed workout videos, you can break a sweat in seven minutes, and then get on with the rest of your day.
Audible – Audible is an audio book platform, and they’ve just released a bunch of free titles for everyone! Great for keeping the brain entertained when you’re over reading textbooks. Start listening here.
Tik Tok – This one doesn’t need too much of an introduction… short, home videos from people connecting with each other around the world. Don’t knock it till you try it – we can personally vouch for the hours of social entertainment you’ll get from this! Download it on the iOS store or Google Play.
Unfortunately, most sexual and physical abuses occur in relationships, and confinement can heighten risks. Many of our usual supports may be unavailable at the moment, so it’s important to know what you can do to get help, if you are anxious or afraid.
Whatever difficulties we are facing, of confinement, money worries, fears for the future etc. – there is never an excuse for abusive behaviour.
If someone is treating you badly, it isn’t your fault, whatever they are telling you. There wasn’t an excuse before this crisis, and there isn’t one now. The responsibility always rests with the person being abusive.
If someone you are living is currently causing you harm, call the police. They are available 24/7. Family violence courts are open and intervention orders are still possible at this time.
If you know one of your friends may be suffering physical or sexual harm, please offer them support, or inform them of the contacts listed below.
If you are at immediate risk, call 000
If you are experiencing violence, or are anxious about the behaviour of a partner or friend, here are some numbers you can call:
1800 Respect – National confidential information, counselling and support service
Phone 1800 737 732 NRS: 1800 555 677 Interpreter: 13 14 50
Or load this app, which has advice on safety, and services in your area
University of Melbourne Safer Communities Program
Phone: +61 3 9035 8675
If you are experiencing sexual harm, contact the Centres Against Sexual Assault To contact any CASA and the after-hours Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL) 1800 806 292
If you’re concerned about your own behaviour, or you are already causing harm to others, seek help. The Men’s Referral Service is a men’s family violence telephone counselling, information and referral service operating in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania and is the central point of contact for men taking responsibility for their violent behaviour. We also provide support and referrals for women and men seeking information on behalf of their male partners, friends or family members, and workers in a range of agencies seeking assistance for their clients who are men.
Phone 1300 766 49 (24 hours – NSW & Tas / 8am-9pm weekdays & 9am-6pm weekends – all other states)
Live web chat - 8am-9pm weekdays
If you need any further advice, you can also contact the UMSU Sexual Harm Response Coordinator
If you are experiencing common symptoms including fever, breathing difficulties such as breathlessness, cough, sore throat and fatigue, follow advice from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), call the dedicated hotlines on 1800 675 398 (Victoria) or 1800 020 080 (national) and seek medical advice and testing. Once you have sought medical advice you should then let the University know by emailing Campus Community. A privacy collection notice is available.
If someone you know appears ill and is showing symptoms, encourage them to seek medical assistance.