One year into on and off again lockdowns, the impact of staying home, socially distancing and being COVID-19 safe has taken its toll on the mental health of Australians.
According to Lifeline, demand for crisis support and suicide prevention services has remained high following the compounding trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the 26th of June alone, when Greater Sydney was placed into its current lockdown, there has been a significant increase in calls to 13 11 14 for mental health support in comparison to prior to pre COVID times in 2019.
On average, Lifeline received approximately 889 calls per day from NSW in 2020, however they are now receiving an average of 960 per day.
In comparison to 2019, Lifeline is answering an additional 200 calls every day when compared to the same time in 2019, an increase of 27 per cent.
However, whilst the numbers of Australians across NSW accessing mental health services has shot up, locally, the numbers remain low
Val Woodland, Chairwoman of the Griffith Suicide Prevention and Support Group said even after a year off on and off lockdown, her team of 15 trained professionals were not receiving as many calls as they would like.
"The past 12 months have been extremely challenging for the community, we have seen a number of suicides take place however we are still fairly quiet" Mrs Woodland said.
The Griffith Suicide Prevention and Support Group operates a 24 hour telephone crisis line and offers counselling, advice and referral support for community members who are lonely, depressed or affected by suicide.
"This service is provided by trained people who listen, care and can help and is offered for free, and confidentiality" Mrs Woodland said.
According to Mrs Woodland, the first step in speaking to someone, and seeking help to combat mental health struggles as they manifest is always the hardest, but once individuals muster up the courage to make the call, they will be all the better for it in the long run.
"I just want to implore any community member reading this that help is out there, give us a call and we will have a chat with you with no judgement and will provide you some support.
If you or someone you know needs help contact;
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
- Griffith Suicide Prevention and Suicide Support Group on 1300 133 911
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