Scope Clinical and Educational Services will continue to provide safe care to our community in this demanding and fast changing environment.
Psychological distress will be a prominent emotion in workplaces and suburbs across the community, and it’s not something most of us know how to address. There are major disruptions to the way people work and live. People in our community will experience levels of psychological distress in ways that we haven’t seen before. Questions will be asked like, ‘Is my job safe?’ and ‘What if I’m quarantined or my child’s school closes down?’ For casual employees, they could be asking things like, ‘Will I get paid at all?’
We often don’t feel comfortable disclosing our stress or mental health issues, however it’s important that we understand the signs and symptoms so that we can look out for ourselves and others.
Seek professional help if:
- You, a colleague or loved one experiences overwhelming and persistent symptoms of distress
- Normal coping strategies are not helping and this is exacerbating your or their distress
- Difficulties persist beyond a few weeks as it is important to seek additional support or professional help.
Please remember that we are able to provide counselling support via telephone, videoconference, in our quiet, calm and clean clinic (maintaining social distance and stringent hygiene) or in your home (depending on your location). We also have bulk-billing options for some of our practitioners – please ask us for more details.
Self Care Strategies
Use positive coping strategies to manage distress
Relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, meditation and the use of existing personal spiritual belief systems can be useful as well as reducing unhelpful thinking. Utilising some of these techniques can help to change your perspective on things and minimise distress.
Avoid unhealthy coping strategies
Utilising unhealthy strategies such as drugs and alcohol as a means of coping as this is only likely to complicate things, by increasing emotional difficulties and taking longer to process what’s happening.
Maintain healthy habits
Try to maintain a healthy diet, as this can help to strengthen the immune system and prevent becoming physically unwell. Develop a new exercise routine that fits in with the social distancing guidelines – exercise can be a healthy outlet for stress. Maintaining a consistent sleep routine is also important in feeling equipped to manage throughout the day. Try to plan pleasurable activities to assist in managing mood.
Debrief with external professionals
It may be helpful to debrief with mental health professionals rather than only talking about the stress at home. Professionals offer a different type of support to family and friends and they can help with understanding what is being experienced. Talking with professionals about our experiences can reduce the chance that we will experience long term distress or difficulties
Here are some other types of support available to you and your family to speak to someone about your experience.
- Lifeline: 13 11 14 (available 24/7) or Online Crisis Support Chat, available nightly at lifeline.org.au
- MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78 (24hrs); online counselling at https://mensline.org.au/
- Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800, Email or webchat (24/7) at https://kidshelpline.com.au/
- beyondblue: 1300 22 46 36, Email or chat online at beyondblue.org.au/getsupport
- GriefLine: 1300 845 745, telephone support service for individuals and families griefline.org.au
- Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
- Health advice over the phone: 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84), confidential phone service that provides health advice 24/7
- Scope Clinical and Educational Services: scaes.com.au
- You may consider visiting your GP to discuss your current symptoms. Your GP can refer you to local health professionals based on your needs.
Want to learn more? Book an appointment with one of our psychologists or visit our clinic and wellbeing store in Bulimba.