CANBERRA, Australia — The head of the nation’s mental health commission has encouraged Australians to watch out for “pandemic fatigue” and prioritize their mental health.
The National Mental Health Commission monitors and reports on investment in mental health and suicide prevention initiatives, provides evidence-based policy advice to the government, disseminates information on improving Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention systems continuously, and acts as a catalyst for change to achieve those improvements.
National Mental Health Commission chief executive Christine Morgan said 2021 was not the “fresh start” people had expected after the challenges of 2020.
“We found the courage to support ourselves, our loved ones and our communities through many hardships last year, but it’s a bit different this time as many of us are running close to empty emotionally and mentally,” Morgan said.
Christine Morgan is the chief executive officer of the National Mental Health Commission and National Suicide Prevention Adviser to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Before joining the Commission, Morgan was the chief executive officer of the Butterfly Foundation for eating disorders and Director of the National Eating Disorders Collaboration.
“Understandably, many Australians are experiencing pandemic fatigue at this time, but it’s important to realize that we can overcome it.”
Warning signs of pandemic fatigue include irritability, anxiety, low energy, restlessness, feelings of hopelessness and dread, or feeling like you don’t have anything to look forward to.
Morgan urged people to watch out for withdrawal from others, difficulty sleeping, lack of motivation, and increased use of alcohol or other substances.
She said it was important to exercise and take breaks regularly, reach out to others, be aware of how news intake impacted you, and do things you enjoy every day.
“It’s not only okay to take time out to do something that brings you pleasure, it’s actually a really important way to help us rebalance and re-energize,” she said.
“Never underestimate your ability to have a positive impact on someone’s life. Others might see you prioritizing your mental health and decide to do the same for themselves,” said Lucy Brogden, the commission’s chairperson.
As per the commission, Brogden’s primary focus areas are issues facing Mental Health and Wellbeing particularly in the workplace and the community. She has more than 25 years’ commercial experience with companies including Macquarie Group and Ernst & Young and more than ten years in organizational psychology.
She has worked in trusted advisory roles with some of Australia’s leading executive officers, Managing Partners, Ministers, and Chairs in investment banking, finance, law, and government.
(Edited by Vaibhav Pawar and Ritaban Misra)