Over the past 18 months, our governments have worked tirelessly to halt the spread of COVID-19. In order to be effective, they relied on the cooperation of all of us to live very differently.
For many of us this dramatic and sudden change was extremely confronting.
We cannot escape the fact that controlling this virus changed how we see our world and how we live. Social distancing goes to heart of what it is to be human, creating a great sense of loss at a time when we would usually rely on our connection with others for comfort.
The necessary response to bring this virus under control brought with it a combination of things which can have the greatest impact of our emotional wellbeing – great uncertainty and loss of connection with others.
On their own, either of these things can have a big impact on a person’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Now many of us experienced them together and to a degree probably never before felt. We know that rates of depression and anxiety have increased over the course of the pandemic and many people have relied on alcohol to cope with the upheaval and isolation in their lives.
Calls to Lifeline spiked in July as the impacts of the NSW lockdown took hold with a reported record of 3345 calls on August 3rd 2021, the most in the organisation’s 58 year history. This compared to an average of 2500 calls per day in 2018-2019, an increase of 34%.
St John of God Richmond and Burwood Hospital’s CEO, Colman O’Driscoll (pictured) believes that “More than ever we need to connect and reassure ourselves and one another, that we are not in this alone.
“I, like many people I’m sure, have often wished for life to slow down a little bit. Now we find ourselves wishing it would get back to normal. “Perhaps, it is a good time to reflect on whether or not there are parts of ‘normal’ that were not so helpful in our lives; bits of ‘normal’ that we might do well to not rush back to so quickly.”
If you or a loved one have experienced the mental toll of COVID-19, St John of God Richmond and Burwood Hospitals can help you return to a rewarding and fulfilling life. Our experienced team provides the best care to you and your family as you recover in hospital or continue your journey through our Counselling and Therapy Centre day programs.
We offer a range of treatments for depression, mood disorders, anxiety, perinatal mental health issues, post-traumatic stress injuries, addictions and general psychiatry services including ECT and TMS. Phone: Richmond 4570 6100 or Burwood 9715 9200 and website: https://www.sjog.org.au/mentalhealth