COVID-19 Media Release from the Mental Health Foundation Australia

Published on Friday, 13 March 2020 at 3:30:07 PM

As we are all aware, COVID-19 has rattled many nations around the world with over 118,000 cases in 114 countries. With the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently having characterised COVID-19 as a pandemic, the Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) understands that tensions are running high within the community.

The MHFA recognises that everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and that the emotional impact of a crisis situation on a person can depend on a multitude of factors. One may feel inundated with information. We recommend avoiding reading or listening to news that cause you to feel anxious or distressed and to rather take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. It is also important to gather information from reliable sources such as the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to help you distinguish facts from rumours.

Most importantly, it is crucial to engage in positive self-care and supporting those around you in times of need. Although it may seem difficult, we recommend you stay calm and have confidence in the Government’s efforts to keep Australia secure and Australian’s safe.

Here are some tips from us at the MHFA, in accordance with the DHHS:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or a hand dryer
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Isolate yourself at home if you experience any cold or flu like symptoms with adequate supplies.
  • Contact your GP if you require information about COVID-19
  • Continue healthy habits by engaging in physical exercise, keeping hydrated, getting adequate and consolidated sleep etc.
  • Avoiding wearing a surgical mask if you are not experiencing any symptoms.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser when handwashing facilities are not in sight

We ask you to please stay informed of the the latest health, self-isolation and travel restrictions advice available at Department of Health and Human Services, Australian Department of Health and Smartraveller websites.

Please also remember that if someone you live with is required to self-isolate, you must also self-isolate for 14 days and will require medical clearance to return to work. If you have any corona virus related health concerns, you can call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 (24 hours, 7 days) to speak to a health professional.

Mental Health Foundation Australia

For further information: 1300 MHF AUS (643 287) I

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