Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing
We want all Tasmanians to have a safe and happy Easter.
This year will be very different, however I want to assure everyone that services to help your wellbeing, alcohol, tobacco or other drug use will remain available through the weekend and beyond.
We have all experienced unprecedented change in the past few weeks and will continue to do so as we meet the challenges of COVID-19 on our everyday lives.
This can leave us feeling uncertain, angry, sad and anxious. These feelings are normal but at this time may be experienced in greater intensity and when our usual supports are not as readily available.
When we are feeling stressed and lonely, we tend to drink more and smoke more – if a smoker.
These are also natural responses to the current situation, the social distancing and social isolation.
It’s tempting to stock up on more alcohol or cigarettes, but there are other ways to manage the feelings of stress, anxiety, boredom and isolation.
- Do some exercise – go for a walk, jog or get in the garden, as exercise releases brain chemicals that make you feel good;
- Eat well – good nutrition is good for mental health and wellbeing;
- Try to get as much sleep as you can – sleep can be disrupted by stress, but lack of sleep can worsen our feelings;
- Try new activities or do things you haven’t done for a while – this can activate the brain’s pleasure centre; and
- Most importantly, stay in contact with loved ones, family and friends whether by phone or online platforms.
I support the calls of the Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs Council, in asking everyone to help Flatten the Curve and social distance, Think About how much you’re drinking or smoking, Know the Risks of your consumption and Talk About your concerns.
The Government has ensured those quarantined in motels also have access to appropriate mental health and alcohol and drug services.
This is a difficult time for many Tasmanians but there is support available for everyone.