Reach out for support

Council’s Emergency Support team has been helping community members access information and linking those in need to emergency food relief service providers. Last week Council also joined the State Government in coordinating the relief needs of residents who have contacted the State Government’s Covid-19 Hotline.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed or anxious during these uncertain times. It’s important to remind yourself that this is a normal reaction.

Cardinia Shire Council encourages community members to look after their mental health and reach out for support and help when needed.

To stay connected with others;

· Make sure you reach out to the people you trust, like friends, family, neighbours and workmates via phone, email, Facetime, Facebook video, WhatsApp video or other online services.

· Share how you feel and try linking with people who are in a similar situation as you. If possible, join an online forum, social media group or other online community to support others and yourself.

Set up healthy daily routines.

· A regular routine will help you feel happier and less bored. Your routine should include maintaining regular mealtimes, eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep and keeping physically active around the house. Avoid excessive use of alcohol.

· If you continue to work during self-quarantine, try to stick to your normal work times. If you have spare time, consider doing tasks that give you a sense of achievement.

· If you smoke, consider quitting or at least reducing your smoking during this time, particularly if you are recovering from coronavirus.

Stay active

Physical activity is a proven way to reduce the effects of stress. Look for online content that could help you exercise, do yoga or learn a new healthy pastime. Dust off your home exercise equipment, and use the downtime to improve your fitness.

For information and contact details for organisations that can offer support, visit www.cardinia.vic.gov.au/onlinehelphub

Family violence support

With more people staying at home to reduce the community spread of Covid-19, there may be an increased risk for victim survivors experiencing family violence.

The pandemic and self-isolation requirements may impact you or your family. There may be financial pressure, family tensions or a heightened sense of uncertainty and anxiety. No matter what the external stressors, violence should not be tolerated.

It is important to remember that you are not alone. It may be difficult to reach out for assistance, but be assured that you have the right to feel safe, access medical support and maintain contact with friends and family.

If you feel frightened or need advice, help and support, or a safe place to stay during the coronavirus situation, there are organisations that can help you.

Council and Victoria Police are conscious of, and sensitive to, the hardships and stress people are facing during this challenging time. In collaboration with Council, police are undertaking Operation Ribbon, a state-wide response to family violence which involves police visiting high-risk people in their homes to ensure their ongoing safety. In addition, police are continuing to provide information and other support.

For more information or to access support, phone 1800 737 732 or visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/family-violence-crisis-response-and-support-during-coronavirus

Visit Council’s online help hub for information about organisations that can provide assistance: www.cardinia.vic.gov.au/onlinehelphub

Youth Services Directory

Council has launched an online Youth Services Directory that has information about services available to young people in during Covid-19, as well as information that may help them.

The directory has information on a range of topics, including:

· Food, financial or housing support

· Employment

· Mental health support

· General health

· Family violence and sexual health support

· Education

· General services.

If you can’t find what you need, call Cardinia Shire Council’s Youth Services team on 1800 496 884.

Support for older people and their families

Senior Australians, their families and carers can now call a dedicated free call support line aimed at supporting the mental health of older people impacted by COVID-19. Phone: 1800 171 866. Council’s Online Help Hub also has a range of information and resources for senior residents.

For more information about services, resources and support available, visit www.cardinia.vic.gov.au/onlinehelphub

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