Queenslanders encouraged to focus on mental wellbeing

Published Sunday, 30 August, 2020 at 11:00 AM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles

A new mental health campaign targeting Queenslanders who have had their lives impacted by COVID-19 has been launched by the Palaszczuk Government today.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queenslanders should be as mindful of their mental health as they are of their physical health during the pandemic.

“People all over the world have had their lives completely turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic – life as we knew it came to a standstill,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“It has been tough.

“The pandemic has placed huge pressures on families and created anxiety and stress, impacting people’s mental wellbeing.

“We won’t pretend that there aren’t challenges ahead.

“Taking care of Queenslanders’ mental health is as important to the unite and recover effort as the other health and economic initiatives.

“This is why I also committed an extra $46.5 million to support Queenslanders’ mental health and wellbeing through programs across the state”

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said the second phase of the Dear Mind campaign was focused on helping people build their resilience by focusing on the six building blocks of mental wellbeing.

“People can visit the Dear Mind website, which provides ideas and inspiration for incorporating mental wellbeing activities into their everyday lives, as well as links to wellbeing resources and support services.

“We launched the first part of this campaign in January, just before the start of the pandemic. 

“The early success of this campaign prompted us to extend it to ensure we were supporting Queenslanders during these challenging times.”

Evaluation of phase one showed that people who had seen the campaign had increased resilience, happiness and ability to provide support:

- 23 per cent of Queenslanders who saw the campaign claimed high resilience (versus 16 per cent among those who hadn't),

- 83 per cent of Queenslanders who saw the campaign rated themselves as happy (versus 74 per cent of those who hadn’t), and

- 73 per cent of Queenslanders who saw the campaign felt comfortable supporting someone with poor wellbeing (versus 66 per cent of those who hadn't).

Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic said the pandemic had created an environment where there is greater recognition of the importance of mental health in our society including its impact on our economic recovery.

“The uncertainty and unpredictability of the pandemic, and prolonged stressors such as worries about health risks, unemployment, financial hardship and social isolation all contribute to an increased level of mental health vulnerability for Queenslanders,” Mr Frkovic said.

“It’s critically important that Queenslanders take proactive steps to maintain and support their mental health and wellbeing, and the Dear mind campaign provides us with practical suggestions on how to do this.

“We must each make a personal commitment to strengthen our mental wellbeing as a buffer to these challenging times.

“All it takes is a few simple actions, practiced every day to build up our coping mechanisms and resilience.”

Mr Frkovic emphasised however, that it was important to recognise when people were struggling and provide various opportunities to seek help.

He said the Queensland Government was to be congratulated for recognising the importance of mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic and this investment will also greatly contribute to economic recovery.

The six building blocks of mental wellbeing are:

- Get healthy: Be active, eat well and get enough sleep.

- Keep learning: Challenge your mind and seek out new things.

- Show kindness: Giving brings joy to other people and strengthens your own mental wellbeing.

- Connect more: Develop relationships, stay connected and care for each other.

- Take Notice: Be mindful. Stay in the moment. Experience the world around you.

- Embrace nature: Step outside and connect with the natural world.

You can find out more about the campaign and looking after your mental wellbeing at qld.gov.au/mentalwellbeing.