It’s time to Shake Up How We’re Tackling COVID.23/07/2020
Mental Health & The New Normal
On the COVID-19 front things are beginning to settle. We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as businesses come out from hibernation and slowly reopen to both customers and employees alike. Slowly we’re seeing things ‘get back to normal’ as restrictions are cautiously lifted.
But do we want to go “back to normal”? What is “normal”, and what happens to the silver lining and opportunity this crisis offered us?
Many of us have taken this opportunity to reset our tired systems and open our eyes to what is really important - Our families, our community and our health. We have learnt to balance work with wellness and through time saved on the daily travel grind, we have been able to take back our time and use our energy to focus on what really matters – reconnecting our minds and managing mental health.
Looking back at how stressed and tired our minds and bodies were, we ask you – do we want to go back to that “normal” way of life?
Pre-COVID this was the state of mental health under “normal”:
3 million Australians living with Anxiety or Depression.
The onset of mental illness is typically around 18-24 years old; the same time most people enter the workforce.
6 people taking their own lives each day in Australia and is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 25-44.
Men are at greatest risk of suicide but the least likely to seek help.
Approximately $543 million is paid in workers’ compensation for work-related mental health conditions.
We’ve seen over the past few months how truly dynamic and agile we can be as a community when it really matters. Long held distrust by business leaders of WFH had to disappear overnight. We changed our habits and our behaviours to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, we banded together and ran campaigns that put people over profit. We made community matter more than money. Business became a community and we started focusing on that community rather than the competition.
So how do we continue to help ourselves and help each other? How do we find the silver lining in amongst all this disruption and make it last beyond the COVID crisis?
As we return to work, we need to note that this slow return is based on caution; caution that is being mandated at state-based level because our future is still uncertain. This uncertainty breeds anxiety and the return to work introduces yet another disruption to the already disrupted routines we had started to grow accustomed to.
We must continue to be there for those vulnerable, those struggling, and those who just need an extra helping hand to get through this time. This week IntactBeyond will be looking back over how we can protect the mental health of ourselves and each other throughout this ongoing period of change and how we can take lessons from this time to foster a community focused approach beyond the COVID crisis and improve mental health in the future.