When it comes to mental health, we all have our own unique stories to tell. But no matter what we are going through, there are other people experiencing it too.
From Beyond Blue, this is Not Alone. A podcast where everyday Australians talk about their mental health journey to help you with yours.
Hosted by Marc Fennell, the podcast currently has two seasons, and explores topics like post-natal depression, shifting male attitudes, isolation, and purpose.
Listen to Not Alone wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe to the series in Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts so that you are notified when the next episode is released
Deepak Chopra and Uma Naidoo created the SLAY CORONA program to help you start healthier habits after "this past year of increased isolation from loved ones, fear, uncertainty, the feeling of consistent bad news, and fewer options to be active has led many to make worse food choices including highly processed 'comfort' foods, junk foods and fast food, which ultimately cause worse mental and metabolic health."
The SLAY CORONA program:
Spice it up — Add turmeric with a pinch of black pepper to your tea, soup or smoothie to help boost mood and lower anxiety. Add fresh peppermint to tea or filtered ice water to help cut through brain fog.
Lots of water — Hydration is key. Dehydration is linked with depression and anxiety, both mental conditions that can stem from poor brain function and inflammation and conditions where hydration can help to improve symptoms.
All the vitamins and minerals — While vitamin C is important, getting your B’s, magnesium, iron folate and zinc are also key as all are critical for brain function and biochemical reactions that balance mood and anxiety.
Yes to the Japanese tradition of Shinrin-yoku (aka “Forest Bathing”) — Just 10 minutes in sunlight gives you 80% of the daily vitamin D you need which helps to improve mood and lower anxiety.
Colors of the rainbow — The biodiversity of healthy gut microbiota is linked to the biodiversity of our diet. Eat a variety of vegetables of different colors to convey positive polyphenol benefits to the brain and body.
Omega 3’s and other healthy fats — Studies show that omega 3’s help improve mood and ease anxiety. Add antioxidant and anti-inflammatory fats to your diet with sock-eye salmon, anchovies, chia, flax and hemp seeds.
Run, walk, jump — Move every day. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and ease anxiety. Do whatever movement works for you. Get up. Stretch. Take breaks from Zoom.
Omit processed foods — Junk foods, fast foods, added sugars, artificial sweeteners and processed vegetable oils all worsen depression and anxiety and cause inflammation in the body and brain. Start to limit these in your diet.
Nourish your gut microbiome — A happy gut is a happy and calm mood. Eat fiber filled foods, prebiotic and fermented foods. Fiber feeds the gut microbes allowing them to function at the peak and fend off inflammation.
Add berries — Berries are rich in anthocyanins and other polyphenols. As powerful antioxidants they fend off oxidative stress in the body. Add plenty of blueberries, black raspberries and strawberries for their tremendous benefits.
Deepak Chopra and Uma Naidoo stated that "the beauty of the SLAY CORONA program is that all of these choices will increase your well-being long after the pandemic has waned. Think of it as part of the reset that has been widely forecast as the world returns to a new normal and faces a very different future. No reset is more positive and beneficial, or as easy to adopt in everyone’s lifestyle."
Read the full article here.
The psychology behind community recovery
Rob Gordon is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the field of disaster recovery since Ash Wednesday in 1983. He is a consultant to Red Cross and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and has worked with people and communities after the Port Arthur shooting, the Bali Bombing, Black Saturday, the Christchurch Earthquake as well as numerous floods, fires, cyclones and other events through Australia and New Zealand.
HeadtoHelp is a free service open to Victorians of any age, including children, young people and older adults, whose mental health is suffering because of the current pandemic. This includes families, carers and people experiencing addiction. By calling 1800 595 212 they can talk with a trained mental health professional who will work with them to develop a package of support services in response to their individual situation. This could include being connected to existing services or care at a HeadtoHelp mental health hub.
The service operates during business hours, currently 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday except public holidays.
During emergencies, family violence increases. See the below resources for help.
Confidential counselling, information and support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse via phone or online chat.
Phone: 1800 737 732 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Chat: https://chat.1800respect.org.au/#/welcome (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Emma House Domestic Violence Services is a courageous feminist, client-lead organisation that aims to reduce the impact of domestic and family violence on individuals, women and children and our community.
Call: 1800 366 238
131 - 133 Kepler Street
The Orange Door is a free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children.
Call: 1800 312 820
The Resilience Project is a growing Australian organisation that delivers emotionally engaging programs to schools, sports clubs and businesses. Using the three key principles of Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness (GEM) they provide practical, evidence-based mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness.
To learn more about The Resilience Project visit their online hub of resources, videos, and podcasts to get inspired to find the good in every day.
Check it out here
AFL Western District is hosting an online Resilience Project session that will be freely accessible to the public on Monday 26 October 2020, 7 pm. Register here.
“Dis” – once you are familiar with The Resilience Project, you will find yourself forever saying “dis”
Connected AU is an organisation working to reduce isolation and loneliness in at-risk populations. We deliver programs to ensure that vulnerable people can access connection, community and companionship in a safe and monitored way, ensuring everybody in our community stays visible and valued.
Our Letterbox Project caters for people who don't have access or capacity to use technology. And our virtual hobby groups cater for those that are able to 'get online', but want to find a safe, inclusive community.
Find out more
This mindfulness video is an adaptation of an immersive experience in Museums Victoria new Learning Lab. It is a journey through the majestic Otways rainforest that allows you to take a moment for yourself.
Red Cross is offering a COVID Connect service which engages a Red Cross Volunteer who will continue social calls to provide support and community connection to people who are feeling socially isolated as a result of COVID-19.
Call: 1800 733 276 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Use their website for mental health resources including information on how to look after your mental health during the pandemic. You can also call and ask for information and advice with their COVID hotline.
Call: 1800 675 398 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
For the latest health advice and restrictions in Victoria please refer to the Victorian Government website. Connect to areas of government designed to help you, and those close to you, stay healthy and happy.
A crisis support service offering short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe. They are a national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Call: 13 11 14 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Text: 0477 13 11 14 (6pm - midnight AEST)
Online chat: https://www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat/ (7pm - midnight AEST)
This website will be regularly updated with information, advice and strategies to help you manage your well-being and mental health during this time. They offer a phone support service, web chat support service, and a online community forum.
They also have the New Access which is a free program for anyone who is feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed about everyday life issues, such as work, study, relationships, health or loneliness where you can get six sessions with a coach for free.
Call: 1800 512 348 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
The free service offers one-on-one support to help you improve your wellbeing, develop strategies to cope and provide emotional support when and as you need it.
Working with a Wellbeing Coach, you explore what is causing your stress or anxiety and help you gain clarity on your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Conversations will be a safe place for you to talk privately about feeling overwhelmed, unsafe or anxious without judgement.
Find out more: Partners-in-Wellbeing_Flyer.pdf(PDF, 327KB)
MensLine Australia has professional counsellors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing confidential and anonymous information and support for all relationship issues. Their website features helpful information about mental heath, family violence and for fathers.
Call: 1300 78 99 78 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Register for online counselling: https://mensline.org.au/phone-and-online-counselling/
Online and webchat support and counselling for 12-25 year olds, their family and friends. They are open 9am – 1am (Melbourne time) 7 days a week for a 1-on-1 chat. It’s a confidential, free and safe space to talk about what’s going on.
Call: 1800 650 893
Free telephone and online service for people with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood or depression. It provides online assessment and treatment for anxiety and depression and can help you find local services.
Call: 1800 61 44 34 (8am - 8pm, Monday - Friday; 8am-6pm, Saturday)
See their list of professionally-reviewed mobile apps and tools to help you look after your health and wellbeing.
Mental health support, call back service.
Call: 1300 659 467 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Confidential alcohol and drug counselling and referral service.
Call: 1800 888 236 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
This 100% Not For Profit organisation has developed tools to equip people with the integral skills they need to thrive in life including meditation. They have an amazing app and useful content on their website.
Find out more
Ask Izzy is free and anonymous, and you can search over 350 000 services to find housing, meals, healthcare, counselling, legal advice, and more.
Find out more
Learn some Auslan basics with Expression Australia. Their website also has helpful resources for deaf or hard of hearing who previously replied on lip-reading to understand spoken language.
Learn more here
The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria have created an A-Z of Support on COVID-19.
Find out more