Building good mental health practices

Quarantine conditions are difficult for people. However, we have access to a range of tools to ease the burden.

The APM Health & Wellbeing team are observing a measurable increase in people presenting with issues relating to:

  • Anxiety, across the full work/health/life spectrum.
  • Loss of control and feelings of despair at an inability to impact personal, family, workplace and community outcomes.
  • Job loss and uncertainty, leading to reduced self esteem and identity as well as worry for the future.
  • Loneliness, relating to loss of human-to-human connection from quarantine/self-isolation. Social support and connectedness are major contributors to resilience and recovery.

While many are focused on the physical health impact of COVID-19, the psychological, emotional and social consequences are likely to be far greater and last far longer.

Leaders and organisations must take strong action to:

  • Promote support services such as EAP, Beyond Blue, Lifeline.
  • Provide education to people leaders on the risks and signs someone (or their family) may need help, and create a pathway to access help for those who need it.
  • Encourage and support multiple alternative pathways to enable connection, facilitating both professional and social engagement.
  • Information is key, and a focus on the altruistic benefits (protecting the community) of isolation are shown to improve mental health in quarantine conditions.

What we are seeing this week

Top EAP and manager support call issues:

  • Health anxiety – for self or for team members
  • Redundancy impact on self or team
  • Impact of quarantine conditions on intimate relationships
  • Individual adjustment to working from home
  • Coaching, information and support on effective leadership
  • Parenting issues, how to work and parent under quarantine
  • Frustration at perceptions of ‘micro-management’ under remote working arrangements

Where to go for help and information

  • Your EAP provider – they will have lots of information for you to access and share, like this
  • Lifeline - 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue - 1300 224 636
  • Australian Coronavirus Helpline - 1800 020 080