The Reverend Paul Davey from Goulburn's Saint Nicholas Anglican Church is hitting the phones to touch base with parishioners and others he knows might be lonely during lockdown.
"With lockdown extended in Goulburn, calling people on the phone is a simple way to touch base and check that people are okay," Mr Davey said.
"We can't easily and safely visit a number of people at this time, but we can pick up the phone and call people. It's also 100 per cent Covid safe as there's no way anyone can catch the virus through a phone call!"
Mr Davey is issuing a challenge to Goulburn.
"Try to call at least one person each day who's not in your household," he said.
"Wouldn't it be great if we all picked up the phone and gave our friends a call? It's good for their mental health and it's good for our mental health during what could otherwise be a very lonely time."
Meantime, the National Mental Health Commission reported a "concerning increase" in the number of young Australians reporting high levels of psychological distress during the lockdown.
Our research and monitoring service use tells us children (5-11 years), young people (12 to 15 and 16 to 25 years), and their parents and carers are experiencing increased levels of distress and adverse mental health impacts," CEO Christine Morgan said.
"Worryingly they are also experiencing heightened levels of self-harm and suicide ideation, resulting in increased presentations to emergency departments.
Almost one in three younger Australians, aged 18 to 34 years, reported experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress in June 2021, the research showed. This compared with 18 per cent of people aged 35 to 64 years and 10pc of people aged 65 years and over during that same period.
The Commission has launched #ChatStarter, aimed at strengthening and building the confidence and knowledge of parents and young people in supporting one another and younger children through difficult times.
For more information on this initiative, visit https://www.headtohealth.gov.au/
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