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What mental health services are available to Australians? Who can, and should, you contact during lockdown?

Feeling out of sorts is perfectly normal given the challenges Australians have been faced with this year to date. Knowing when something isn’t quite right can also be challenging, but being aware of the signs and symptoms of negative mental health is key to managing your mood now and in the future.

Signs and symptoms of poor mental health vary from person to person and condition to condition. However, Mayo Clinic says you should look out for the following:

  • Feeling sad or down on an on-going basis
  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Brain fog or fatigue
  • Mood swings from high to low
  • A lack of interest in people and activities you used to enjoy
  • Sleeping too much or not sleeping enough
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feeling overwhelmed and/or stressed by things that would not have phased you in the past
  • Changes to sex drive
  • Feeling angry or violent
  • Suicidal thinking.

The above is not a conclusive list; everyone’s experience with their mental health is as unique as they are. If you are worried about your mental health, you should keep track of your moods so you can talk a health professional about how you are feeling.

Who should you call?

Counselling Online recommends a number of specialised services and helplines that Australians can access here, as well as more general helplines that are here to help remotely:

  • SANE Australia offers counselling and support for people experiencing or caring for those with mental illness
  • Suicide Callback Service offers 24-hour telephone and online counselling for people concerned about suicide
  • Lifeline 13 11 14 offers 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention counselling
  • Headspace offer an online and telephone counselling service for young people aged 12–25 who are concerned about mental health issues
  • Kids Helpline is a free helpline for young people aged 5–25 to confidentially discuss any problem
  • QLife offers a free counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people experiencing any issue that may affect their health and wellbeing. It is available 3:00pm to 12:00am
  • 1800Respect offers support related to sexual assault, family or intimate partner violence
  • Gambling Help Online offers 24-hour telephone and online counselling for people who are affected by gambling
  • National Debt Helpline is a telephone line available Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:30pm to discuss any problems related to debt.

Read: When will social distancing end in Australia?