Feeling anxious? Help is out there

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19 March 2020

For many nurses and midwives, the COVID-19 pandemic comes as a double whammy, arriving on our scorched shores so soon after the bushfire crisis.

“Many of those (bushfire-afflicted) communities are still in recovery and dealing with those issues … so that (COVID-19) becomes another layering of stress and crisis that is really challenging people,’’ says Mark Aitken, consultant and stakeholder engagement manager with Nurse & Midwife Support.

NM Support is a national telephone and online support service for nurses, midwives and students to assist with health issues, including mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Mr Aitken says the service is already seeing an increase in calls and contacts related to COVID-19.

“Nurses and midwives are calling our service for support and we provide that support on a one-on-one basis,’’ he says.

“What we recommend at the moment is if nurses and midwives have a self-care plan - we encourage them to develop a self-care plan - is that now more than ever is the time to connect with that and indeed activate it.

And that is really knowing what things in your life make you feel better, make you feel more supported, make you feel more cared for and then you actually share that plan with people around you.

“What we’re concerned about is people in a prolonged state of heightened stress or activity …. that can activate stress responses that don’t necessarily serve people’s wellbeing; fear, anxiety and not really knowing what is going to happen next.’’

Social distancing is another strain. “A lot of nurses and midwives have families with young children … social distancing from their families, that’s a really tough thing for people,’’ Mr Aitken says.

“So we’re very mindful to get that message out to people, that we haven’t forgotten you. We just hope nurses and midwives know they can call us and talk to us.’’

The service is anonymous, confidential and free. You can call Nurse and Midwife Support anytime (24/7) about any issue you need support for: 1800 667 877 or contact via the website at nmsupport.org.au.

For community information on Mental Health impacts of COVID-19, view the SA Health Fact Sheet.


Nurse and Midwife Support

Call anytime (24/7) about any issue you need support for: 1800 667 877 or contact via the website at nmsupport.org.au

Lifeline and other support services

Access Lifeline's online resources on mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak by clicking here.

  • 13 11 14 will continue to be operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Lifeline Text 0477 13 11 14 will continue to operate 6pm – midnight (AEDT), 7 nights a week
  • Lifeline webchat will continue to operate 7pm – midnight (AEDT), 7 nights a week
  • Kids Helpline – for children that may need support 1800 55 1800 https://kidshelpline.com.au
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636 https://beyondblue.org.au