Youth Focus has reminded community members in self-isolation about the importance of remaining connected through online platforms to help counter feelings of loneliness and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The leading youth mental health agency is offering online resources through its website – youthfocus.com.au – to help young people stay active and in touch while in quarantine.
Youth Focus Chief Executive Officer Arthur Papakotsias said COVID-19 was having a significant impact on individuals, families and communities across the globe.
“Now more than ever it is important to stay connected with friends and family to help maintain positive mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Papakotsias said.
“Social distancing doesn’t mean disconnecting. It is incredibly important to check in on friends and family members to make sure they are managing during what is an extremely stressful, anxious and unprecedented time.
“We encourage the community to maintain physical activity, stay connected to family and friends via digital means, enjoy good, nutritious food and keep regular sleep patterns.”
Youth Focus recommends building at least 30 minutes of exercise into your day with yoga, meditation, mindfulness or home gym workouts. Connecting with nature, sharing time with others through digital platforms, multi-player gaming apps, phone calls and face-to-face online group communications are also good ways to stay in contact.
But Mr Papakotsias cautioned that excessive social media could be counter-productive.
“Most Australians spend two to three hours on social media screen time a day. With social isolation, that time is likely to increase so we recommend limiting social media to a few hours,” he said
“It is also important to remember that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of the virus and isolating yourself is helping others in our community to avoid infection.”
Youth Focus is continuing to support young people during the COVID-19 pandemic and has transitioned from in-person counselling sessions to telephone and web counselling services.
Mr Papakotsias said the decision to move to remote counselling had been made in the best interests of staff and clients and would only be reinstated once the threat of COVID-19 had been officially downgraded.
COVID-19 can cause mild symptoms which may include a fever, sore throat, cough or fatigue. For some people, it can be more severe and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties and can even be fatal.
For more information, contact the Coronavirus Health Information line on 1800 020 080.
For tips, activities and support during COVID-19, visit: https://youthfocus.com.au/get-help/staying-mentally-well-covid-19/
Nicole Cox – 0419 941 443