End of isolation brings new set of mental health challenges, says PeelConnect

MACS coordinator Doreen Jones said people's uncertainty and fears will continue into the new normal of eased restrictions. Photo: File image.
MACS coordinator Doreen Jones said people's uncertainty and fears will continue into the new normal of eased restrictions. Photo: File image.

All over Australia, people are celebrating the easing of coronavirus restrictions, but it's not all pubs and parties for some.

Mental health professionals are now looking to the post-isolation stage, which could cause as much anxiety for many, just as going into lockdown did.

PeelConnect's Mentoring, Advocacy, Counselling and Support (MACS) coordinator Doreen Jones said as Australia went into lockdown many of the problems people had were existing mental health issues being amplified due to a loss of social connection.

"All of it has been an adjustment for people," she said.

"Losing connections was really difficult and challenging and the support people would normally have wasn't there."

Trauma is a very strong word but it is a type of trauma that people have experienced in isolation so we need to deal with that now coming out of lockdown.

MACS coordinator Doreen Jones

As restrictions ease, Mrs Jones said it was understandable for people to be feeling anxious given how uncertain times still are.

"There's been a lot of uncertainty and that is going to continue into the new normal of eased restrictions," she said.

"There is still a lot of fear around the virus itself so even though easing of restrictions looks like a positive there is still an adjustment to be made.

"Trauma is a very strong word but it is a type of trauma that people have experienced in isolation so we need to deal with that now coming out of lockdown."

Read more:

Mrs Jones said MACS services are still available to mentor those experiencing homelessness in Mandurah and provide counselling by donation for locals with limited access to this support due to finances, long wait times or transport.

"We had to close down for a week but we are now open at the Anglican Community Centre," she said.

"We're back now with face-to-face counselling and telephone counselling."