Just when you think we've made it through some of the toughest historical environmental events of our lifetime such as drought, fires and flooding, we are now being threatened with the potential of coronavirus.
People of all ages are concerned about the impacts this virus could have on us physically and on our society, which is creating a nervousness among our community, especially our young people.
Anxiety is something we all experience at some point in our lives, it's important to understand it can be a protective emotion. After being through a number of these environmental events a nervousness can start to impact our physical and emotional wellbeing. It's not healthy for our bodies to be on constant high alert as our body will try to cope by making changes to our hormonal balances, which can impact our sense of wellbeing.
Listening and watching social media, hearing about events unfolding around the world and seeing the frenzy of others can potentially stimulate an unhealthy view, which can lead to a preoccupation on things outside of our control.
Our mental and physical health are closely linked, finding routine is key minimising the stressors in our lives. If you are someone who lives with or supports young people here are some ideas to help you support them:
This may sound familiar but going back to the basics of getting a good night's sleep and eating a balanced diet are the first steps. Limit access to social media prior to going to bed at night can support a better night's sleep.
Taking time to listen to your young person and the concerns they have, and be reassuring. Help them change their focus from the things out of their control to what then can take control of in their day-to-day lives. Take time to help them find things they enjoy doing; distraction is important.
If you recognise that you or a young person are not coping well, and you have tried putting in place some simple strategies to help, contact your local GP or one of these organisations for further support.
These organisations can be contacted on the number below or through their websites.
- ParentLine on 1300 1300 52
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- ReachOut at au.reachout.com
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511