SPECIAL REPORT: Riding the Corona Coaster

For most of this year, families have been navigating the ups and downs of a new reality involving remote learning, working from home and lots of family time. The latest turmoil is focused on Victoria, with the state being in various stages of lockdown. However, a second wave of the pandemic is starting to impact other areas of Australia and New Zealand.

Young people may find this second lockdown more challenging than the first with many mental health professionals concerned about an increase in youth anxiety, depression and substance abuse. Adult carers are encouraged to take the lead by being pro-active in creating a scenario where everyone at home can be less anxious and better organised. As a family, it is important to focus on what worked, and what didn't work, last time.

Adult carers may see this as an opportunity to teach their kids the skills required to manage uncertainty in order to become more resilient. Communication will be key –– finding out what they know, understanding what they need to feel safe and helping them focus on the things they can control.

Please consider, if you or a family member is struggling, consult a medical professional.

In Australia, support is also available through Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or via the website www.kidshelpline.com.au

Alternatively, contact the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service on 1800 51 23 48 or go to the website www.coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au

Or in New Zealand, please contact Kids Line on 0800 543 754 or go to the Mental Health Foundation website www.mentalhealth.org.nz for more information.