Telehealth, mental health and family services will receive a $1.1 billion stimulus in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. This comes at a time where hundreds of thousands of Australians have lost their jobs, feel anxious about self-isolation or even more horrifically, are quarantined with their abuser.
Mental health services will receive a $74 million injection, $10 million of which is directed to BeyondBlue for their coronavirus support service. BeyondBlue experienced a 30% increase in calls in late March, and there is a chance that number will increase as Australians face further job losses and anxiety relating to self-isolation.
BeyondBlue started their COVID-19 Mental Health Support Service to add an extra level of support on top of their 24/7 help line. The service, though in its infancy, is well-equipped with information, tools and forums to assist those impacted by the coronavirus.
$150 million has also been pledged to domestic violence services. Victims are now self-isolating or are quarantined with their abusers, bringing about a spike in incidences. Men’s counselling services, often done in groups between 6 and 20, have been suspended in the interest of safety. The funding will bring extra support to programs under the National Plan to Reduce Domestic Violence, including counselling, 1800RESPECT and Mensline.
Coronavirus has changed the way we live and receive support, but there is help available. If you or anyone you know is struggling, please use the following resources:
BeyondBlue: Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service
White Ribbon Australia: Domestic Violence Hotlines