Victoria’s healthcare workers have been under immense pressure managing the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s normal to feel stressed and anxious during this time. The response to the pandemic requires a huge commitment, and no matter what role you’re playing in Victoria’s healthcare system, it will have an impact on your life.
In June 2020, the Victorian Government provided $850,000 in funding to support the health and wellbeing of healthcare workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for compassionate and confidential assistance with concerns such as stress, mental health support and a range of other health issues.
It’s important for you to be aware of your own mental health and wellbeing as you continue to care for and treat others. You’re not immune to the mental health impacts of the pandemic and to do the best you can, it’s important to look after your own health and look for signs of stress or anxiety.
There are simple things you can do to maintain your mental health, and plenty of support available if you need it.
What can you do to feel better?
Try to stay positive. Remember the impact you are having on the spread of COVID-19 by helping Victorians who have or are vulnerable to COVID-19 through your work as a frontline health worker.
Be mindful of the signs of stress and look for ways to provide balance outside of work. There are simple things you can do to feel better and look after your own health and wellbeing, including:
- Eating healthy meals
- Getting regular exercise
- Sleeping well
- Practicing mindfulness
- Maintaining activities that you enjoy outside of work.
Where to get help
Remember to get help if you need it. This includes:
- Talking to a professional, such as your general practitioner (GP). They may prepare a Mental Health Care Plan to give you access to allied health professionals (such as psychologists) through Medicare. Your GP can also make a referral to a private psychiatrist or public clinical mental health service If required.
- Contacting a mental health telephone, text or online counselling service or a general counsellor. These services can provide you with targeted information and referrals. There are a number of services and resources listed below.
- Maintaining an open dialogue with your employer to ensure they are aware of your situation and can implement strategies to help, such as a mental health day or offering confidential counselling services through your workplace.
It’s also important you maintain social connections with family and friends outside of work.
You can stay connected by:
- talking regularly on the phone or through video calls
- meeting up in person when safe to do so, while maintaining physical distancing and adhering to all current restrictions.
Where can you get help?
There are websites you can visit and phone lines you can call if you need help.
Safer Care Victoria Healthcare worker wellbeing centre
The Safer Care Victoria Healthcare worker wellbeing centre provides:
- direct links to organisations, tools, and resources for healthcare workers to support their own mental health and wellbeing
- shares tools, resources, and training to help organisational leaders and managers to better support their staff
- looks at ways to create system level changes and embed worker wellbeing as a priority across the broader health system.
BeyondBlue has mental health information on its website and people you can talk to.
Lifeline has people you can talk to on the phone, by text message or online.
Victorian Department of Health COVID-19 website
Our website has up-to-date information about COVID-19 and a coronavirus hotline you can call if you have further questions.
Reviewed 22 March 2021