Chief psychiatrist urges Victorians to reach out to struggling residents

Victoria’s chief psychiatrist Dr Neil Coventry has urged residents to “reach out” to those undergoing mental health struggles, saying feelings of confusion and uncertainty are “very normal” reactions to lockdowns.

The state’s coronavirus outbreak continued to worsen after recording 176 new locally acquired cases on Thursday with just 83 of those linked to known cases.

“It’s a very uncertain situation that we find ourselves living within and I want to make sure that we actually think about the impact this is having for all of us,” Dr Coventry said.

“It’s impacting on our own sense of wellbeing, our anxiety, our stress level; we’re all feeling, to some extent, confused and obviously very uncertain about the future.

“I want to really emphasise this is a very normal reaction to a very abnormal situation that we’re currently experiencing.

“We also need to acknowledge that some people will really struggle, particularly at the moment, some people are really travelling hard.

“The people who are really struggling, I want to emphasise, we do have help available; we need to identify the people who are finding this extremely challenging and we need to reach out.”