Aussies prepared to get more mental health help than ever during COVID-19, reducing stigma

16 Sep 2020

Australians are embracing mental health services like never before, reducing the stigma that has long been attached to issues such as depression and anxiety.

A surge in psychologist appointments has led to waiting lists upwards of three months, while Lifeline experienced its busiest period in its 57-year history between March and June, with almost 90,000 calls each month.

It had a record day on September 8, when volunteers responded to 3326 calls for help.

In an interview with The AustralianProfessor Alex Haslam from the UQ School of Psychology, said while those struggling with depression, anxiety and loneliness may have previously felt there was something wrong with them, during the pandemic their experiences had been somewhat normalised.

“Nobody’s immune to these things,” he said, adding coronavirus had raised the awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing.

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