Australia, the lucky country, has recently been hit by a series of unfortunate circumstances. Fires, floods… and now the pandemic of Covid-19 or Coronavirus.

If adversity is the true test of character and resilience, now is the time for us to step up as individuals, as communities, as a nation.

I am saddened by the initial panic reaction of hoarding supplies which has triggered unnecessary shortages. Senior citizens and other vulnerable members of our society have been severely impacted.

On the other hand, the true Aussie spirit continues to shine as people go out of their way to help others in need. Simple acts of kindness can go a long way.

While we continue to look to the government and medical authorities for guidance, let’s think about what we can do as individuals to make a difference. Here are some simple suggestions:

  • Follow the social distancing and prevention guidelines: Click here to read
  • Self-isolate if any of the identifying factors apply to you: Click here to read
  • Start a neighbourhood help group
  • Call an elderly friend or relative to check if they need any urgent supplies
  • Initiate a What’s App group or Facebook group to support each other

While the general focus is on physical health, let’s not forget about our mental health as well. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, here are some useful tips and advice from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: Click here to read

If you or someone you care about needs help, this free app offers links to reliable mental wellness resources across Australia: Click here to read

As the CEO of an organisation that supports people who are impacted by alcohol, other drugs and related mental health issues, I know that our counselling services will be stretched even further by this pandemic. I can assure you that we are doing everything possible to keep our clients, staff and stakeholders safe.

While our counselling services continue as usual at all our offices, we are offering the option of phone counselling to those who are unable to attend for whatever reason. As the situation changes, we will provide regular updates via a dedicated page on our website: Click here to read

I am confident that we will come through this challenge by looking out for each other. Let’s replace doom and gloom with hope and humanity. As Maya Angelou once said: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”