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As COVID-19 and its effects continue to impact millions of Australians, it’s important to remember that support is available for those experiencing ‘pandemic fatigue’.

Healthy North Coast Chief Executive Julie Sturgess said there were many useful resources for people feeling overwhelmed, as well as for people suffering financially.

‘We’ve been dealing with COVID-19 for the past 18 months, the threat it poses to ourselves and our communities, and now a large part of our region is in lockdown,’ said Ms Sturgess.

‘Everyone is different and we all deal with adversity in our own way, but I want to encourage anyone who is feeling down, or struggling to cope, to tap into the available resources,’ she said.

‘We understand these are challenging times, so we need to be kind to ourselves and those around us, stay in touch with friends and family and seek professional support when needed.’

Ms Sturgess said the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) had identified a number of feelings and behaviours that indicated pandemic fatigue. It recommended some simple measures to help overcome these feelings.

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Symptoms and solutions

Pandemic fatigue can include feelings of tiredness, frustration, low energy, restlessness, irritability, hopelessness and dread. It can also be indicated by difficulty in looking forward to tomorrow, wanting to be alone, through increased use of alcohol and other substances, and lack of enthusiasm for things you would normally enjoy.

Effective ways to overcome these feelings include:

  • identify and practise self-care strategies that work for you
  • keep kids communicating. Let children know it is ok to be worried, and talk it out
  • get sweaty – exercise is great for mental health
  • reach out to those who may not have connections
  • follow facts from trusted sources
  • take a break – do the things you’ve been putting off for a rainy day

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Financial support

For people experiencing financial difficulty, or adversely affected by COVID-19 – including current State public health orders such as lockdown, both the NSW and Australian governments can provide financial assistance.

For more information or to apply for assistance, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/financial-support.

This website includes details on the COVID-19 disaster payment; the Pandemic leave disaster payment; as well as information for residential tenants, for homeowners; on vouchers and payments; help and support services; the 2021 COVID-19 Support Package; and more.

Service NSW has a hotline open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any COVID-19-related concerns or enquiries. To speak to someone about your individual situation, call 137 788.

Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 for information on coronavirus. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More information and resources can also be found on the Healthy North Coast website.

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Talk it over

If you feel overwhelmed by any feelings, it’s important that you talk to someone you trust. A GP, family member or friend, or make contact with any of the services (available 24/7) below:

  • Connect to Wellbeing North Coast: 1300 160 339
  • Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Services: 1800 512 348
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
  • www.headtohealth.gov.au

In an emergency call 000 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.