This year has been especially challenging for people in rural and regional areas, says NSW Nationals Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor.

In the face of immense adversity, our communities have shown their resilience throughout. Just as people were aware and alert to fires in the region, now they are aware and alert to the importance of self-isolation and social distancing.

“Country people often put on a brave face and tell others that the glass is half-full. Many people who I have spoken to are finding reasons for joy and glimpses of beauty in their current position,” Mrs Taylor said.

“However, people are affected in many different ways, and everyone’s circumstances are unique. Aside from the health implications, losing your livelihood, social connections or simply being stuck at home around the clock can be stressful.

“That’s why staying mentally healthy and taking care of yourself and your families is so important. There are a number of things that can be really helpful, from keeping up your normal daily routine as much as you can and sharing how you’re going, to getting some fresh air and exercise.”

Tips like these can be very useful towards maintaining mental wellbeing, but if you notice a significant drop in your thoughts or feelings or those of people around you, please know that there is professional help available for free.

“Putting up your hand is one of the bravest things you can do,” Mrs Taylor said.

“Take care of yourselves and each other, and know that together, we’ll get through these challenges.”

If you are doing it tough, please call the NSW Mental Health line on 1800 011 511 or reach out to any of the support numbers below:

  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Suicide Callback Service: 1300 659 467
  • Beyond Blue Support Service: 1300 224 636
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs Information Service: 1800 422 599