If you are concerned about symptoms you’re experiencing or contact with a possible COVID-19 case, you can call the Department of Health’s national 24/7 hotline on 1800 020 080. For language translations: 131 450.
The Disability Information Helpline exists for people with disability, their families, and carers. If you have questions about COVID-19, how it affects you, or if you need support you can contact the helpline on 1800 643 787.
For advice on other medical issues while practising social distancing, you can call Health Direct on 1800 022 222. They can help you decide if you need to see a doctor. You may now be eligible for bulk-billed telehealth services from your regular doctors thanks to the new COVID-19 Temporary MBS Telehealth Services.
For disability-related issues, you can call our Wayfinder Hub on 1800 843 929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – they can help you find information about disability services or connect you to our individual advocates to help stand up for your rights in this difficult time. Wayfinder Hub’s phone line is currently operating on a call-back basis – please leave your name and number in a voicemail. We will call you back from a private number. You can also look for other advocacy services in your area using the Disability Advocacy Finder.
Supplies for self-isolation
Supermarkets: Coles and Woolworths supermarkets are currently trading at regular hours, and home delivery services as restrictions are lifted. The Victorian Government has asked people to wear cloth masks when in public, but they are not compulsory.
IGA supermarkets have continued with their home delivery program.
If you are still self-isolating and having trouble getting supplies delivered, you may be able to get help from your state government or a non-profit:
- NSW: call 13 77 88 to ask about emergency relief packages
- Queensland: call the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349
- Victoria: call the dedicated coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398
- Tasmania: organisations such as the Salvation Army and Red Cross are being funded to help people in isolation. You can contact them directly or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for more information
- West Australia: Cahoots Connects is an free delivery service for people with disability and people over 65, which will launch Monday April 20. Call 1300 103 880.
A number of local areas have set up mutual aid groups that you may be able to get help from. For example, we got this info from the Inner West Sydney Mutual Aid group:
The Inner West Sydney Mutual Aid group has been established by local community members with the aim of linking up local people. This is about solidarity not charity. We’re not approaching this as saviours or as helping the helpless, we’re part of a community looking out for each other. If you are isolating because you are immunocompromised or otherwise high risk, and need someone to deliver groceries, medication or mail, or if you would like online social support or assistance applying for Centrelink or NDIS, please go ahead and sign up.
Looking for support:
Looking to offer support:
We don’t currently have a comprehensive list of groups or the capacity to vet them, but search Facebook to see if there’s one in your local area, and be as cautious as you normally would be about any contact with people you don’t know online. You can also check out this list of mutual aid groups from In Good Faith Foundation.
Isolation and stress can make it harder to take care of your mental health. Beyond Blue are running the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. Phoenix Australia also have some tips on looking after your mental health during this time. The Australian Psychological Society also have some tips on coping with coronavirus anxiety and social distancing (PDF only). There’s also Easy Read info about this from CID.
If you want to talk to someone about your mental health, you can call:
- Beyond Blue for 24/7 phone counselling. They also have an online chat open 3pm to 12am.
- Lifeline Australia or the Suicide Call Back Service, if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal (open 24/7).
- Mensline, a telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relationship concerns (open 24/7).
- QLife, which provides Australia-wide anonymous, LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships (open 3pm to midnight, 7 days a week).
Domestic and family violence can get worse in stressful situations like this. 1800 RESPECT, the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service, is open 24/7.