Caring for your mental health & well-being during the crisis


This is one of the most confronting and difficult times ever faced by people in hospitality, in Australia and around the world. Restaurant, cafe & foodservice operators are laying off most of their employees, and finding it almost impossible to pay rent and supplier bills.

A huge number of workers have lost their jobs: chefs, managers, bar, event wait staff, cooks, kitchen hands, entertainers and cleaners. Many of the other jobs that orbit around hospitality, accommodation and tourism have disappeared.

It's no surprise if you're feeling raw, emotional and scared. Please understand that help is available, both personal and financial - you are not alone.

Personal Support and Counselling:

* LifeLine - personal support and financial counselling

* BeyondBlue - mental wellbeing support service

* Salvation Army - personal support and financial counselling

* Professional psychologist counselling is available with Medicare rebates, when referred by your doctor

Other Support and Financial Assistance:

* RU OK? - where to find professional support

* Business owners can obtain government financial support through JobKeeper, ATO rebates, State Government initiatives, and the Mandatory Code of Conduct for commercial tenants and landlords

* Unemployed workers can access Jobseeker payments through Centrelink

* There are apps like Smiling Mind to help you deal with stress and quieten an anxious mind

* Use the time to Build your Skills and Stay Productive - there are many free training courses

Resilience in Uncertain Times

We are in a period of massive change; a seismic shift worldwide that has left no one untouched by its ripple effect. The energy unleashed around the globe has created an anxiety that literally ‘hangs in the air’, acting as a second contagion. As we each continue to navigate our way through an unpredictable and foreign landscape, anxiety raises our stress levels, making it difficult to process even some of the more common place details of our life.

A study published July 25th 2012 in the Journal of Neuroscience found that people who are stressed out are more likely to lapse into easy habits and are therefore likely to underachieve rather than to work towards their goals. The brain produces two stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, that interact to lower the activity of brain regions involved in goal-directed behaviour. The impairment of the goal-directed system produces this habit behaviour, hampering your ability to make changes designed to adjust to the stress experience.

Change of any nature arouse conflicting emotions that evoke a stress response within a person. Confusion, anger, sadness, anxiety and lethargy are just some of the typical responses you might experience during a time of change, making it difficult to function at your optimal level. At a time when you are seeking to recruit more energy and stamina from your physical, mental and emotional reserves, you discover those resources to be depleted.

Remaining resilient and optimistic involves making it your daily determination to be intentional about cultivating a positive, and therefore more resilient, state of mind. Here are eight strategies that when practiced daily, will help you build resilience.

Author: Colleen Morris, Watersedge Counselling

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