Mental Health Support During COVID 19

Find information on mental health help and support available to all Victorians

COVID-19 is still affecting our lives in many ways. While restrictions have eased, we may feel hesitant about returning to ‘normal life’. After staying home and isolating or following other restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, we may feel less connected to others in our community or be working through other challenges.

With uncertainty about the future, it is understandable to feel distressed and anxious. This is natural. If these feelings are interfering with your daily routine, or if you feel overwhelmed, it is important to ask for help. Encourage friends and family to seek assistance too, if needed.

It is important to talk to someone about how you are feeling by:

  • Contacting your local Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub. These community based services are a great first point of call for anyone looking for support with mental health and wellbeing challenges. A support worker will provide free one-on-one support to help you develop strategies to cope and pathways to any other health or social support services you may need.
  • Talking to a general practitioner (GP). If your GP thinks you need extra support, they may prepare a Mental Health Care Plan. These plans give you access to allied health professionals (such as psychologists) through Medicare. Your GP can also make a referral to a private psychiatrist or a public clinical mental health service if required.
  • Contacting a mental health telephone, text or online counselling service or a general counsellor. These services can provide you with targeted information and referrals. There are several services and resources listed below.

In an emergency where there is immediate risk of harm to a person, call Triple Zero (000). For 24-hour crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

The Mental Health & Wellbeing Hubs are available to Victorians of all ages who have any mental health or wellbeing concerns.

To book a free in-person or telehealth appointment, call 1300 375 330 (9 am – 10 pm weekdays and 9 am – 5 pm weekends) or submit an enquiry online via Partners in Wellbeing.

You do not need a referral from a GP or health professional to access support through a Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub.

If you need more help in your language, you can call TIS National on 131 450 and ask for an interpreter, then ask to be connected to Mental Health & Wellbeing Hubs on 1300 375 330.

If you wish to call on behalf of someone else, you will need their consent. You can then call 1300 375 330 and call on their behalf.

    • Lifeline Australia
      A crisis support service offering short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
    • Beyond Blue
      A dedicated service for those feeling anxious, stressed, depressed, or need assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Care in Mind
      An online and phone counselling for people living, working, or studying in Melbourne’s northern, central, and western suburbs.
    • Headtohelp 
      HeadtoHelp supports Victorians of all ages in finding the mental health and wellbeing support that is best for you. When you call HeadtoHelp a trained professional will give you advice and can connect you to the right support or service. This may be to an existing mental health service or one of the HeadtoHelp hubs.
      • Phone: 1800 595 212 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday)
    • MensLine
      A professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men.
    • Mindspot
      A free telephone and online service for people with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood, or depression. It provides online assessment and treatment for anxiety and depression and can help you find local services.
      • Phone: 1800 614 434 (8 am – 8 pm on Monday – Friday; 8 am – 6 pm on Saturday)
    • Suicide Call Back Service
      A mental health support, call back service.
    • Head to Health
      Provides information on where to get the facts about the COVID-19, tips for maintaining good mental health, tips for managing financial stress, information on how to access mental health services, information for parents, and information on how to keep older Australians safe and connected by helping them get established online.
    • GriefLine
      Support for people experiencing loss and grief.
      • Phone 03 9935 7400 (Lines open from midday to 3 am, 7 days a week)
    • Partners in Wellbeing
      If you are not coping or have been feeling distressed, anxious, or down over several weeks, help is available through the Partners in Wellbeing service. The free service offers one-on-one support to help you improve your wellbeing, develop strategies to cope and provide emotional support when and as you need it.
    • Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria (ARCVic)
      ARCVic provides help for those with anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalised anxiety disorder, hoarding, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and panic disorders. Help is available through a free service via the phone or internet-based services providing regular emotional support and assistance for your mental health and wellbeing. ARCVIC also has supports available for parents with children living with an anxiety disorder.
    • SuicideLine Victoria
      A free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service offering professional support to anyone at risk of suicide, anyone concerned about someone else’s risk of suicide, and anyone bereaved by suicide.
      • Phone: 1300 651 251 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week across Victoria)
    • Going into isolation With COVID-19 may feel daunting or overwhelming. Fear and anxiety about the pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.

      There are several ways to support your mental health during periods of isolation:

      • Remind yourself that isolation is temporary.
      • Focus on the effort you are making to protect others from contracting the virus.
      • Stay connected with friends, family and colleagues via email, social media, video conferencing or telephone.
      • Stick to routines – although they sound dull, they are good for our mental health. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat at regular times, shower, and change your clothes.
      • Try to maintain physical activity if you can.
      • Manage your stress levels, and if needed, increase your coping strategies (for example, listening to music, watching your favourite shows, meditation, or exercise).
      • If you have a health condition, keep taking any prescribed medication, continue with your treatment plan and monitor any new symptoms.
      • Avoid news and social media if you find it distressing.

      Seek professional support early if you are having difficulties.

    • Victoria’s healthcare workers have been under immense pressure managing the COVID-19 pandemic. It is normal to feel stressed and anxious during this time. The response to the pandemic requires a huge commitment, and no matter what role you are playing in Victoria’s healthcare system, it will have an impact on your life.

      Remember to get help if you need it. This includes talking to a mental health professional, contacting a mental health telephone, text, or online counselling service, or maintaining an open dialogue with your employer to ensure they are aware of your situation and can implement strategies to help.

      The Safer Care Victoria Healthcare worker wellbeing centre provides:

      • direct links to organisations, tools, and resources for healthcare workers to support their own mental health and wellbeing
      • shares tools, resources, and training to help organisational leaders and managers to better support their staff
        • looks at ways to create system level changes and embed worker wellbeing as a priority across the broader health system.

      For more resources, visit Other mental health resources.

    • It is important to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Remember that you are not alone, and support is available.

      Try to stay connected with your family, friends, and community if you, or someone you love, feels anxious, lonely, or uncertain.

      Some ways you can do this are:

      • Talk with friends, loved ones and other mob
      • Sleep well, eat well and exercise
      • Get in tune with your creative self and connect with Country if you can
      • Do things that make you feel good and build your strength
      • Follow deadly mob online.

      Resources available:

    • Feelings of increased anxiety, stress or loneliness are normal during this time, and it is important that you reach out to others or seek help through the services below if you are not feeling yourself. Mental health support, including support for LGBTIQ+ Victorians, is available and includes:

      • Rainbow Door is a free helpline run by Switchboard Victoria which supports LGBTIQ+ Victorians, their friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The service can provide LGBTIQ+ specialist, multidisciplinary support for family violence, mental health, and relationship issues. Rainbow Door operates 7 days a week between 10 am – 6 pm
      • Switchboard Victoria is a peer-driven support service for LGBTIQ+ people, their families, allies, and communities. You can chat to a peer LGBTIQ+ phone worker by calling 1800 184 527 between 3 pm and midnight every day of the week. You can also chat with someone online during the same times at QLife.
      • Queerspace provides low or no cost confidential counselling services to support LGBTIQ+ communities and their families.
      • Thorne Harbour Health provides professional, affordable counselling for members of LGBTIQ+ communities and individuals or couples who are affected by or at risk of HIV.
      • Australian Government is providing access to an extra 10 Medicare-subsidised psychological therapy sessions. Speak with your GP about how to start or update your mental health care plan.
      • Victorian Pride Centre’s website features a list of services and support groups.
    • For people with disability, this may be a particularly challenging time due to uncertainty, increased social isolation or financial hardship. The impact can be significant especially for those with cognitive impairment and those already living with complex mental health issues.

      For your mental wellbeing, consider the following tips:

      • Keep informed to ease fear and uncertainty. Obtain information from a reputable source to avoid confusion.
      • Maintain treatment regimes, particularly those related to mental health.
      • Contact the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787 (Available Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm) for access to information and referrals for people who need help because of COVID-19, including access to counselling.
      • Contact the Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 224 636 available 24/7 or online chat (3 pm to 12 am, 7 days a week).
      • Remain connected with friends and family members and seek out peer support groups such as Peer Connect.

      You can access additional support through:

      • Carers Victoria
        Represents and provides support for carers in Victoria.
      • Disability Information Helpline
        Access to information and referrals for people who need help because of COVID-19, including access to counselling.
        • Phone: 1800 643 787 (Available Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm)
      • Smiling Mind
        Smiling Mind’s digital care packs provide tools and resources for parents, carers, and teachers to support positive mental health for the children in their care.
      • TANDEM carers
        Represents organisations and individuals who care for people living with mental illness.
      • Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC)
        Provides telephone and advocacy services for people with a lived experience of mental health problems or emotional distress. Run by consumers for consumers.
      • YMCA 
        Virtual Y offers free access to exclusive fitness videos, nutritious recipes, wellbeing advice, family activities and their Youth Hub.
    • If you are a young person going through a tough time including experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out), feeling disconnected, worried about the state of your friendships, school, or your academic performances, it is a good idea to talk to your family and friends about what you are going through.

      If you feel embarrassed or shy, you may prefer to speak to someone else. A school counsellor, local doctor, or one of the free online or phone support services, such as eheadspace or Beyond Blue can help. Anything you discuss with them is private and confidential.

      If they think you may need immediate assistance, they will refer you to a clinical mental health service with psychologists, psychiatrists, or other mental health workers.

      You can access additional support through:

      • YMCA 
        Virtual Y offers free access to exclusive fitness videos, nutritious recipes, wellbeing advice, family activities and their Youth Hub.
      • Smiling Mind
        Smiling Mind’s digital care packs provide tools and resources for parents, carers, and teachers to support positive mental health for the children in their care.
      • Kids Helpline (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) A confidential and private counselling service specifically for children and young people aged 5 to 25 years. Phone: 1800 55 1800
      • ReachOut 
        A mental health organisation for young people and their parents.
      • Emerging Minds
        Develops mental health policy, services, interventions, training, programs and resources for children and their families. Visit the Emerging Minds website for more information.
    • There are a range of mental health services and resources available for Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

      If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450 before speaking to one of the below services.


      • Embrace
        Multicultural mental health Provides a platform for multicultural communities to access mental health resources, services, and information in a culturally accessible format.
      • Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
        A human rights organisation whose programs support people seeking asylum to maximise their own physical, mental, and social wellbeing.
      • Foundation House
        An organisation promoting the health, wellbeing, and human rights of people from refugee backgrounds who have experienced torture and other traumatic events.
      • Migrant resource centre
        Northwest region: A community-based organisation providing settlement support, aged care, disability, and community services to migrants and refugees living in the north-western region of Melbourne.
      • Spectrum Victoria
        Delivers services to newly arrived and established people with migrant and refugee backgrounds in northern and western Melbourne areas.
      • Phoenix Westgate Migrant Centre
        A migrant resource centre servicing the Hobson Bay area.
      • Migrant Information Centre Eastern Melbourne
        Assists individuals and families from diverse backgrounds residing in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne to enhance their settlement, access services and strengthen their community participation.
      • Cabrini Additional
        Mental health support is being delivered by Cabrini (asylum seeker communities with a focus on Shepparton and Mildura), The Victorian Foundation for Survivors and Torture (refugee communities) and Australian Red Cross (asylum seekers, vulnerable temporary migrants).
      • Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture
    • Many older people are finding it difficult to stay connected while choosing to isolate away from friends and family, which can increase feelings of loneliness and isolation.

      Even if you are hesitant to see friends and family in person, try to stay connected with them through phone, video or online.

      Being active can also help with your state of mind. If you can get out, ask a friend or family member to help you to keep active.

      Additional resources:

      • Seniors Online Victoria
        Collates a range of services and support programs tailored to older Victorians including help with essential deliveries, home support services and advocacy for seniors. Also has a full package of Seniors Festival performances and radio programs.
      • Friendline
        A free confidential service available to anyone looking to reconnect or have a chat with a volunteer.
    • Families and caregivers of children and young people should discuss COVID-19 in an open and honest way that they will understand.

      Talk about the facts without causing alarm, and in a way that is appropriate for their age and temperament. It is important to listen to any questions they may have, to let them know that they are safe and that it is normal to feel worried or concerned.

      If the media or the news is getting too much for them, limit exposure for young children and encourage teenagers to limit their exposure or turn it off completely.

      Further tips for caring for younger children:

      • Ask children what they have heard about COVID-19.
      • The way parents behave can have a significant effect on children. Keep conversations calm and focused on the facts. Emphasise efforts that are being taken to contain COVID-19.
      • Model health-promoting behaviours for your children. For example, teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
      • Educate the entire family about good health habits. Talk about what each family member can do to help others outside of the immediate family.
      • Include children in family discussions and plans , in an age-appropriate way.
      • Address any misconceptions children may have that could result in stigmatising people or groups of people in the community.

      Additional resources:

      • PANDA
        Support for individuals and families to recover from perinatal anxiety and depression. PANDA’s National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline (Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 7:30 pm) or online.
        Phone: 1300 726 306
      • Smiling Mind
        Smiling Mind’s digital care packs provide tools and resources for parents, carers, and teachers to support positive mental health for the children in their care.
      • TANDEM carers
        Represents organisations and individuals who care for people living with mental illness.
      • Carers Victoria
        Represents and provides support for carers in Victoria.
      • Disability Information Helpline
        Access to information and referrals for people who need help because of COVID-19, including access to counselling (available Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm).
      • Eating Disorders Victoria
        In response to COVID-19, Eating Disorders Victoria has implemented a new Wellbeing Program to assist people living with eating disorders and their support people during these challenging times.

    Reviewed 08 December 2022


Mental Health Supports available in the Murrindindi Region

Do you, or someone you know need a little extra support right now? This is a challenging time for many people in our community and this list of mental health support services are available in our region.

If your situation is an emergency please contact 000 for support.

  • Alexandra District Health – call 03 5772 0900 for telephone support and to find out more. They offer a range of primary health services in Alexandra. Primary Health services are also provided at campuses in Marysville and Eildon.

  • APMHA HealthCare – call 1300 514 811 to discuss the options of mental health services provided by APMHA Healthcare in the region. They offer a large range of mental health clinicians with broad skills and qualifications to match your needs.

  • Lower Hume Primary Health Partnership – Providing a platform to increase visibility, access and integration of mental health services across Murrindindi Shire.

  • Growing Minds – Supporting the wellbeing of rural and regional schools, their students and communities.

  • Goulburn Valley Health –  Call 03 5832 2322 to discuss the referral health service offering a 24-hour Emergency Department, Medical Services, Women’s and Children’s Services, Rehabilitation and Palliative Care, Mental Health, Outpatients and community-based health programs.

  • The Bridge Youth Service – Working alongside young people aged between 12 and 25 to increase their sense of belonging and create a community connection with value and respect, whilst believing in their power to change their situations.

  • Wellways – call 1300 111 400 to discuss mental health, disability support and community care. Connecting people, strengthening families and transforming communities.

  • Nexus Primary Health – call 1300 773 352 to setup telehealth (phone or video), face to face or home visits. Helping to prevent, manage and treat health and wellbeing needs.

  • Yea & District Memorial Hospital – Call 03 5736 0400 for telephone support. Providing high quality health services and wellbeing in the community.

  • FamilyCare – The best first contact is Seymour 1800 663 107 or Shepparton 1300 854 944. Assisting families and individuals to enhance their strengths throughout their lives.

  • Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative – call 03 5820 0000 for telephone support. Culturally appropriate community services covering family, housing, financial counselling and justice services
  • Beyond Blue – call 1300 224 636 for telephone support, information and resources for people dealing with depression or anxiety, or visit their website

  • Mensline Australia – call 1300 78 99 78 for telephone support, information and referrals for men dealing with relationship issues, or visit their website

  • Are you bogged, mate? – Mental health seminars designed for rural farmers.

  • Carers Australia – call 1800 242 636 to find out about short-term counselling and support services for carers and their families in Victoria

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline – Call 1800 200 526 to talk to experienced family violence counsellors, 24 hours a day

  • Relationships Australia – call 1300 364 277 or visit the website for relationship support for individuals and families

  • Direct Line – call 1800 888 236 for confidential alcohol and drug counselling and referrals

  • Kids Help Line – call 1800 55 1800 for free counselling and advice for young people between 5 and 25

  • Youth Beyond Blue– call 1300 22 4636 for free telephone counselling or visit their website for information, resources and support for young people with depression or anxiety

  • Parentline – call 13 22 89 for telephone counselling for Victorian parents and carers of children up to 18 years of age. The service is available from 8.00 am to 12 midnight, 7 days a week

  • Raising Children Network – is an online parenting resource with advice about rearing children of all ages

  • The Victorian Council of Churches is working in partnership with the Victorian Government to offer support services to Victorians. Members of the community are encouraged to contact the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 020 080 to access this service 

  • WellMob – Healing our way – Social, emotional and cultural wellbeing online resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

  • Emerging Minds – Emerging Minds have some great COVID-19 resources to assist parents and carers best support their children and reduce worry and distress

  • Phoenix Australia – Online trauma tool kit – A very useful interactive resource focusing on four areas (reclaiming life, managing emotions, connecting with others and self-care)

  • Life in Mind – Need help implementing self-care in your life? Check out life in mind a guide to self-care

  • Roses in the Ocean – stemming the tide of suicide – Amazing resources and lived experiences around suicide

SOURCE: Murrindinidi Shire