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Looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak

Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (COVID-19), can affect your mental health. Here's what we suggest to managing your mental health during this time.

The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased stress for many. Fear and anxiety about a virus can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have pre-existing mental health conditions including problems with substance use

If you, or someone you care about are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, please call:

  • South Coast Private Hospital admissions and assessment team on 1800 250 000
  • If you believe you are a threat to yourself or others around you, please call emergency services on 000


Stress during a pandemic can include

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.


Things you can do to support yourself

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Access good quality information

It’s important to get accurate information from credible sources such as those listed below. This will also help you maintain perspective and feel more in control.

Having to work from home? It's the perfect time to prioritise your mental health.

Enquire about South Coast Private Hospital's mental health services from the comfort of your own home.

To learn more about our extensive list of specialties or arrange to speak with one of our experienced health professionals

Seek support

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by news of the outbreak, particularly if you have experienced mental health issues before.

Where possible, it can help to maintain normal routines. It can also help to stay in touch with friends and family, eat a balanced diet and stay physically active.

Acknowledge feelings of distress and seek further professional support if required.

Learn about the signs, symptoms and treatment for anxiety and other practical mental health advice by visiting

Alternatively, phone our admissions and assessment team on 1800 250 000.

Further information about mental health wellbeing, quarantine and managing self-isolation can be found here