AN increase of front line workers across the region are seeking mental health support Stawell psychologist Krystal Browne says.
Earlier this month, an extra $5 million in federal government funding was announced to go to mental health support in Victoria as people struggle with the coronavirus outbreak.
Mrs Browne said it was "pleasing" to see the region's residents taking care of their mental health.
"I have certainly seen an increase in referrals for front line workers which is an industry I am really trying to support at the moment," she said.
"I think the increase is a good sign of culture within organisations across the region that employers have increased their push for workers to get the support and help they might need.
"There is both a state and federal government push around mental health as well.
"To see people using the option of seeking support will enable them to stay in their jobs and continue to perform at their peak ability for longer."
Mrs Browne said COVID fatigue was real.
"We're all experiencing that at the moment," she said.
"Many workers are experiencing the stress of work but also the impacts the pandemic is having at home and in personal lives.
"I'm noticing a mix of both the stress of work with an increase in health anxiety in particular paired with difficulty coping with everyday stress."
Mrs Browne said residents can improve their mental health by looking after the "basics" within their lives.
"The number one priority is that if you think you might need some support to talk to your GP or employer," she said.
"Getting back to basics and focusing on things within your control can go a long way.
"Things, like managing your sleep routine, eating, exercise and trying to keep up some form of social connection, can help manage stress."
Mrs Browne said lowering personal expectations is quite normal when dealing with a stressful time.
"It can be helpful to recognise we're not living in a 'normal' way at the moment," she said.
"It's also important to be more compassionate and kind to ourselves."
Mrs Browne has moved to a new location in Main Street from the Stawell Medical Centre and said nothing had changed to her services despite the move.
"Residents in Stawell can be assured I still work really closely with the medical centre and all the doctors there," she said.
"The new location in Main Street is not as busy and it can offer a more therapeutic space."
Mrs Browne said people who were wanting to seek help could do so through their GP, an employment assistance scheme if offered or can self-refer directly.
Residents can contact Mrs Browne via her website: www.brownepsychology.com.au
The National Mental Health Commission announced a new campaign called #GettingThroughThisTogether on Sunday.
The campaign is a national conversation to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians as the uncertainty around COVID-19 continues.
#GettingThroughThisTogether builds on the success of #InThisTogether launched in response to the pandemic in March, and acknowledges the continuing challenges for many Australians, as we navigate the compounding impacts of the pandemic.
Chief executive Christine Morgan said Australians were affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways.
"The reality of the longevity of COVID-19 and its uncertainty has set in, and along with it comes fatigue and frustration as some jurisdictions are forced to return to, or canvas, increased restrictions," she said.
"When we know how difficult something is, it is usually harder the second time. This is particularly the case for young people and the vulnerable."
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