The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our way of living and working and understandably many of us are feeling stressed, anxious and confused. With more changes to come in the next few weeks as we transition to a COVIDSafe Australia and restrictions are further eased, our lives will be different for a while.
Being aware of how you’re feeling and knowing what you can do to look after your mental wellbeing is an important part of staying healthy during this challenging time. That’s why we’re sharing insights from two of our CARE Foundation partners – R U OK? and ReachOut. The Stockland CARE Foundation brings together charity partners ReachOut, Redkite and R U OK? in a collaborative partnership to improve wellbeing in communities across Australia.
A webinar hosted by Group Executive and CEO, Commercial Property at Stockland, Louise Mason, CEO of ReachOut Australia, Ashley De Silva, and CEO of R U OK?, Katherine Newton, outlined the important work both charities do supporting people with mental health challenges. They shared some of the things they’ve been responding to, the communities they’ve been supporting and practical tips and advice on managing mental health and wellbeing. Ashley and Katherine discussed the uncertainty COVID-19 has brought and the importance of staying connected, listening to others and providing support to our families, our colleagues and our staff over the coming months.
We’ve compiled some of the great insights and practical tips shared during the webinar, to help manage your mental health and wellbeing and to look out for those around you as we all navigate these unprecedented times.
Katherine talked about recognising the signs that someone might be struggling. She made the point that life happens to all of us and we all go through life’s ups and downs. Sometimes we might be grieving, be having financial difficulties, have a physical injury, or we might be going through big changes in life such as retirement, or becoming a new parent or be going through a relationship breakdown. If we can normalise talking about those ‘down’s and look after one another when those things are happening, then we can be the support for our friends, family and work colleagues when they are going through a tough time.
Ashley spoke about how ReachOut has pivoted during COVID-19 to use data analytics to understand the issues resonating with people based on how they interact with the service and undertaking focus groups to use those insights to make sure we are responding in the best way. During the pandemic, the peer support section of ReachOut’s website, where young people and parents can share experiences, put their hand up and say I need support, has never been busier.
“It’s a difficult time but it’s good to see so many people making use of a digital space to stay connected and be asking for support” said Ashley.
Staying connected in challenging times
Taking care of yourself
How to ask someone if they are okay
It’s important we all do what we can to support our friends, family and colleagues in this time of ups and downs. As we adjust back to ‘normal’ life, there will be a period of transition when some people might feel anxious, exhausted or stressed.
Katherine said that it’s important to find pathways to help people. Sometimes people just need to be listened to without interruption and without judgement. But sometimes we have to ask people if they have thought about seeking help. Asking isn’t always easy but here are some tips on how to have a conversation:
Want more information? Follow these links to more resources from our partners:
R U OK?
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