Psychologist, and Clinical Research Officer at the Brain and Mind Centre, Alissa Nichles, says anxiety is a very normal human experience. Given the current sense of uncertainty, isolation and the rapid change to our routine as a result of COVID-19, anxiety symptoms may be more noticeable.
“It’s your body’s way of preparing you to manage situations that you may perceive as difficult or dangerous."
Anxiety symptoms may present as physical changes such as feeling tense or having muscle aches, an increase in your heart rate, ‘butterflies’, feeling on edge or shaking, and faster breathing. It can also impact how you think and behave. It can lead to an increase in the time you spend worrying, it may be difficult to relax, and it can impact on your ability to focus and concentrate. You may also feel more irritable and impatient.
Meet Rhianne, a psychology PhD student who works at the Brain and Mind Centre. She shares her mental health tips during these times:
“We know that sleep is important for our immune and cardiovascular system, and our brain health, but it’s also important for mental health and wellbeing, Professor Sharon Naismith explains.
"Besides the immediate consequences poor sleep has on our levels of alertness and irritability, studies have shown that sleep disturbance can precede the onset and recurrence of mental health problems including depression."
Facilitated by Professor Ian Hickie, these DigiHealth webinars explore a 'Flip the Clinic' model of healthcare: 80 percent digital and 20 percent face to face.
'Flip the Clinic': Experts in mental health service delivery, mental health lived experience, clinicians, policy writers, researchers and providers discuss this model. Listen to the podcast.
'No more waitlists': Leading service funders and administrators, clinicians and system modelling experts explored how DigiHealth solutions could lead to immediate efficiencies in mental health service delivery. Listen to the podcast.
Research done by the Brain and Mind Centre combines productivity and suicide data, demonstrating the benefits of acting urgently and effectively to flatten the mental health 'curve'. Find out more.
The Matilda Centre is working actively with state and federal governments, foundations and other groups to identify a strong and effective response to the mental health impacts of coronavirus. They are adapting research studies to collect vital information about COVID-19 (and other recent national events, e.g. bushfires) to examine the impact of these on the mental health and substance use behaviour of Australians. They are also aiming to track and share research being undertaken on COVID-19 and mental health by Australian researchers.
The University of Sydney's counselling and mental health support services: (02) 8627 8433 or (02) 8627 8437
If you have immediate safety concerns for yourself or others, call triple zero (000) for emergency services (fire/ambulance/police).
If you need help outside of Counselling and Psychological Services hours, the following community resources are available:
Mental Health Access Line: 1800 011 511
Lifeline (24 hours): 13 11 14