Over the last 18 months, we’ve all heard and used the phrase “keep your mates safe” and during this time, it’s safe to say that this phrase has been translated by society to mean:
“Stay at home”
“Don’t forget to social distance”
“Wear a mask and don’t go to work if you’re unwell!”
While all these reminders are crucial to bringing the Coronavirus pandemic to an end, what they don’t cover is that “keeping your mates safe” also means regularly checking in on your friends/co-workers/family and their mental wellbeing.
In a time where we’re more physically isolated than ever before, it’s no surprise that those living with depression or anxiety are struggling. More to that point, it’s also no shock that individuals who, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, were not facing daily mental health struggles and may be doing so right now.
Today we want to stress the point that, even if someone says they’re OK, doesn’t necessarily mean they are. It also doesn’t mean they may not be OK next week, so it’s important to continue these check ins with your loved ones.
During these times we are fortunate to live in a world where ‘staying connected’ even when physically distanced is achievable through technology. We encourage you to take a moment each day to send a text, make a phone call or set up a video chat with a loved one and make sure they’re doing OK. A fifteen minute conversation may just change a life.
It is also important to remember to reach out if it's you who isn't doing well. Sometimes it seems easier to isolate, keep quiet and not 'burden' anyone with our thoughts and struggles. What we really need to remember is that there is always someone who will listen, even outside of your immediate friend/family circle.
R U OK? Day is coming up on the 9th September and in an effort to encourage our community and their loved ones to break the silence on mental health, we wanted to share some helpful resources from the R U OK? Day website.
If you find it hard bringing up the topic of mental health but have concerns for someone’s wellbeing, you can use R U OK?’s 4, simple steps on ‘how to ask’ someone if they’re OK. For more information, click here.
Additionally, there are a whole range of every day resources you can tap into depending on the environment in which you’d like to support someone. There are resources for schools, in the office, sporting groups and different employment industries. We encourage you to do your bit in the community to keep your mates safe. Click here for more information on every day resources.
There are also a number of community resources you can access on the R U OK? Day website. Click here to find out more.
Please also remember that the team at My Community Pharmacy are always here to be your listening ear when you need it. We have staff trained in Mental Health First Aid, but first and foremost we are a team who care about our community and their wellbeing.
We are also currently involved in a study looking at the role of Pharmacists when it comes to patients who are suffering with poor mental health.
Please know you're not alone. Here are some additional resources you can access if you feel you need support during this time:
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service: 1800 512 348
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
We're all in this together.