As the lockdown in the Northern Rivers continues and residents face difficulties on our QLD border, it is important people are making time to look after themselves.
NSW Nationals MLC Ben Franklin said the lockdown was difficult for people in different ways and reminded them that support is available.
“This is a really tough time and I want people to know there are free resources, websites, hotlines and councillors out there to help,” Mr Franklin said.
“We talk about mental health a lot and looking after ourselves right now is really important. We’ve got students learning from home, parents working from home, people living alone, businesses closed and the way our entire community operates has had to change.
“I encourage anyone who is looking for support, information or just someone to chat to, please reach out.”
Mr Franklin said it was vital to stay in touch with family, friends, and neighbours.
“We will get through this, but we will need to do it as a community.”
Support for students and parents
• #ChatStarter is an online campaign and website which provides young people and parents with a single point of access to free, evidence-based resources to help recognise and respond to signs of distress – visit the Head to Health Website for #ChatStarter resources.
• Headspace FREE online mental health sessions for parents and carers
o Lismore sessions are being held at 7pm on Tuesday, September 7 and Monday, September 13 – register at headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation Events | Eventbrite
• Student Wellbeing Hub provides resources for parents, students from K-12 and teachers to manage a range of things such as peer pressure, online safety and helping build respectful relationships.
Mental health resources
• Beyond Blue has great resources including phone, webchats, and community forums to connect with others. There is information on serious mental health support as well as tips on looking after your wellbeing with things like getting a good night’s sleep, managing financial stress and the importance of doing something for yourself every day.
• Smiling Mind App provides mindfulness and meditation guides right at your fingertips. You may only need 10 minutes a day and is an awesome way to take a break from your school, work, or work-from-home day. It is free and available on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
• Free financial counselling is confidential and available from the Australian Government to support you to manage and resolve financial stresses such as bills or utility disconnection.
• Rural Financial Counselling Service provides support specifically to farmers, fishing enterprises, forestry growers, harvesters and related small businesses experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship.
Additional support lines
o Lifeline on 13 11 14
o Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
o MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
o Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
o Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
o Headspace on 1800 650 890
o QLife on 1800 184 527
Domestic violence and sexual assault
Support services remain open and if you are facing violence at home, please know you are allowed to leave your home to escape abuse.
• 1800RESPECT offers confidential information, counselling, and support services. You can phone 1800 737 732, chat online, or search services closest to you.
• Additional support lines:
o NSW Domestic Violence Line – 1800 65 64 63
o NSW Rape Crisis Counselling Service – 1800 424 017 or www.nswrapecrisis.com.au
o Victim Access Line – 1800 633 063
o Victim Services Aboriginal Contact Line – 1800 019 123
o Child Protection Helpline – 132 111
If it is not safe to make a call from your home, Telstra have made calls from their payphones FREE and you can find your nearest phone using this search tool.