The last 18+ months have been like no other – placing enormous stress on community broadcasters who have been dealing with the seemingly endless challenges and uncertainties of pandemic restrictions, rolling lockdowns and changing revenue streams.
As broadcasters, you are also providing a vital service to your communities – keeping people connected and entertained, and sharing important health and emergency information – which also contributes to the health and wellbeing of your community.
At times like this, it is especially important to remember to look after yourself and those around you, and seek help and information when you need it.
There is lots of information available online about how to manage stress and anxiety, as well as more serious mental health concerns. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start if you’re looking for information or need to talk to someone.
So in the lead up to National Mental Health Month and World Mental Health Day we’ve created a list of key mental health resources that you can use if you need information or support for yourself or someone else.
Mental Health Information
Here are a few websites that have well-researched and trusted mental health and wellbeing information.
General mental health and wellbeing information
- Beyond Blue’s self-care resources include a dedicated website for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People information called Wellmob, and articles covering many topics as diverse as what is climate anxiety and how can it be managed, how mindfulness can help during the COVID-19 outbreak, and how to ask for help when you need it. Their Fact Sheets also offer factual information about a range of subjects including wellbeing, mental health support, mental health issues and conditions, and much more.
- RUOK? have practical information about what to do if you’re concerned that someone is thinking of suicide, and how to have that conversation.
- Sane Australia has a huge library of helpful fact sheets and guides covering different diagnoses, treatments and dealing with a crisis. They also have stories from people living with mental health conditions who share their tips for managing loneliness, managing conflict, coping with anxiety and more.
Information for media
- Mindframe’s Self-care tips for journalists reporting on suicide, mental ill-health and the COVId-19 pandemic.
- The DART Centre for Journalism & Trauma have lots of articles and tips sheets on a range of topics including self-care practices and peer support, managing stress and trauma on investigative projects, self-care in a disaster, and more.
Information for culturally and linguistically diverse people
- Factsheets in multiple languages covering general mental health and wellbeing, as well as serious mental health issues.
Need to talk to someone?
There are lots of services that offer phone and online support if you’re feeling like you need to talk to someone. These are some of the main services:
Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis counselling, support groups and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14, text on 0477 13 11 14 (12pm to midnight AEST) or chat online.
Support Act Wellbeing Helpline
Support Act’s free service is staffed by professional counsellors who offer expertise in all areas relating to mental health. It is confidential and open to anyone in music or arts, including community media. Call 1800 959 500, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Beyond Blue offers brief support, provides information and advice, and will point you in the right direction to get the help you need. Call 1300 22 4636, 24 hours/7 days a week, chat online or email. They also have a dedicated Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service which you can access via chat, online forum and phone: 1800 512 348.
Mensline is a professional telephone and online counselling service offering support to Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours/7 days a week, chat online or organise a video chat.
QLife is an anonymous, free nationwide telephone and web-based service for LGBTIQ+ peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. Call 1800 184 527, 3pm – 12am (midnight) AEST/7 days a week.