Mental Health and Wellbeing

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Human beings are social creatures – we have a natural need to have a meaningful connection with others. Due to COVID-19, your ability to have or develop these connections may have been negatively impacted over the last few months. This may have meant you experienced increased loneliness, anxiety, and depression.

With R U Okay Day and Mental Health Week taking place recently, the topic of mental wellbeing might be still fresh. However, conversations about mental health should be limited to one day or even one week but ongoing throughout the year.

We know from research that people with HIV experience high levels of social isolation. COVID-19 may have exacerbated anxiety and isolation further due to physical distancing and placed a strain on people’s mental health. Although restrictions have eased, the effects might have a lasting impact.

Beyond Blue has offered a few strategies to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing from home. These strategies are also accessible to those of us that have limited incomes.

They include:

Staying connected with loved ones – use your phone, social media and apps such as Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp to stay in touch with family and friends. Touch base with someone every single day.

Doing things you enjoy – read that pile of books and watch those TV shows you missed. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, make the most of it. Why not try a new pastime that you can do at home or online? Painting and listening to music are both great ways of relaxing and practising mindfulness. If you enjoy DYI, now’s a good time to knuckle down and get jobs done.

Staying healthy – focus on eating well and getting enough exercise and good-quality sleep. Take the time to cook from fresh, do online yoga or aerobics, meditate and focus on maintaining good sleep habits. Keeping up healthy routines will help both your physical and mental health.

Dodging the panic – try to limit your media and online exposure. Seek advice from credible sources only and don’t consume news all day long.

Reaching out -if you are finding that you are struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you need assistance please visit the dedicated Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. Trained mental health professionals are available to talk to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via phone.

This last one is especially important! We understand that our communities may be doing it tough because of increased uncertainty about COVID-19, job security and social isolation. However, the team here at QPP are here to help in whatever way we can.

QPP in-person social groups will be starting up again soon and we will be providing more information about these events shortly. The QPP online social groups (on Zoom) are happening fortnightly, with the next one happening the 2nd of November at 6 PM-7 PM – check out our Facebook page for registration details.

In the meanwhile, if you feel that your mental health has suffered recently, or if you just need someone to talk to, please contact QPP. Our friendly, informative team of peers navigators are always available to connect through our online chat function (bottom right-hand side of the screen) or via telephone: 1800 636 241.

Again, we would like to emphasise that it is vital that you make your mental health and wellbeing a priority. Connect with friends, family or organisation that can help – some useful links to helpful services are provided below:

QPP Events

5:30 pm Multicultural Social Group – Fie... @ QPP
Multicultural Social Group – Fie... @ QPP
Jun 18 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Multicultural Social Group - Fiesta Latina @ QPP
For our Multicultural Group this month we are holding a “Una Fiesta Latina” to support NAPWHA‘s Community Conversation with our Spanish and Portuguese speaking communities. We’re meeting in our 21 Manilla St courtyard on Friday[...]
11:30 am Gold Coast Social Group @ Korman Family Park
Gold Coast Social Group @ Korman Family Park
Jun 27 @ 11:30 am
Gold Coast Social Group @ Korman Family Park
The Gold Coast Social Group is on again this month. Come along, soak up some sun, and enjoy a BBQ Lunch with Steve and your GC community. Any questions, please contact Steve B on 0485[...]
11:30 am Saturday Brisbane BBQ @ QPP
Saturday Brisbane BBQ @ QPP
Jul 3 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Saturday Brisbane BBQ @ QPP
Come along and join us for a nice lunch and an even better chat. No RSVP needed just come along to 21 Manilla St, East Brisbane. If you do have some dietary requirements please let[...]
10:30 am Long Term Survivors and Mature A... @ QPP
Long Term Survivors and Mature A... @ QPP
Jul 11 @ 10:30 am
Long Term Survivors and Mature Aged Group @ QPP
If you’ve been living with HIV long term or are of mature age, please come and join Garth and friends on the second Sunday of every month. 21 Manilla St, East Brisbane from 10:30am onwards.[...]
6:30 pm Multicultural Social Group @ QPP
Multicultural Social Group @ QPP
Jul 17 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Multicultural Social Group @ QPP
Our Multicultural group is open to all, however it is a primarily a safe space for international students or newcomers to Australia where language is no barrier. Come and meet new people, share culture, stories[...]

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