MEDIA RELEASE – The Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Health

DATE PUBLISHED: 9 APRIL 2020

A new 24/7 support service specifically designed to help people through the COVID-19 pandemic is now available free of charge to all Australians.

The Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service has been developed by Beyond Blue to address the growing mental health impact of the pandemic, including fear about the virus, financial stress, family stress, anxiety and loneliness.

The service offers easy access to a broad range of practical supports from online wellbeing tips, self-help tools to phone counselling from trained mental health professionals and peer to peer support.

The Australian Government will provide $10 million over 2019-20 and 2020-21 to Beyond Blue for the service.

I would like to thank Beyond Blue and their partners for building and launching this critical service so rapidly. What they have achieved is remarkable and will benefit millions of Australians.

I would also like to thank Medibank for contributing to the service—another example of an Australian company playing its part to help the nation through this emergency.

The new support service can be accessed through the website:

https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au

It provides:

  • digital tools and apps to help people manage their own mental health and wellbeing
  • a phone line staffed by mental health professionals
  • referrals to other services and information, including financial support
  • easy links to Beyond Blue’s online peer support forums
  • links to emergency and crisis services.

Looking after your mental health as the pandemic unfolds is just as important as protecting your physical health.

Slowing the spread of coronavirus has forced dramatic changes to the way Australians live, work and study, creating stress and uncertainty.

While it is normal to feel worried, it’s important to know that if you are struggling, support is available.

The strain being felt by many Australians is showing in many areas, including a 30 per cent increase in requests for help from the existing Beyond Blue support service.

While this is a difficult period for all of us, there are now clear signs that the rapid action taken by the Australian Government—in concert with all states and territories—is having the intended effect.

This article first appeared on Minister Hunt’s media website.

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