MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING

The challenges surrounding the uncertainty or how to cope in the current environment is increasing stress and anxiety among many of us.

This page will provide some helpful information to support the wellbeing of athletes, coaches, officials, staff and families during these challenging times.

The AIS Athlete Wellbeing team has developed some helpful information to support the wellbeing of athletes, coaches and staff during these unprecedented circumstances.

Common responses of people affected (both directly and indirectly)

These include:

  • Fear of falling ill, losing livelihood, the challenges of securing the things you need (i.e. groceries and personal care items) being socially excluded or quarantined.
  • Feeling of powerless in protecting loved ones or providing appropriate care and support.
  • Feelings of hopelessness, boredom, loneliness and depression due to isolation.
  • Uncertainty or ambivalence towards the situation, which may include high performance objectives as well as personal circumstances.
  • Some people may find they experience positive emotions such as a sense of pride about finding ways of coping, a sense of resilience or satisfaction from witnessing community altruism and cooperation.

If you are experiencing any of the above responses remember that this is completely normal under the current circumstance.

Ways to support yourself
  • Limit media exposure to useful and quality information sources (e.g. the AIS website & Department of Health website)
  • Stay connected to your support network to foster a sense of normality, share feelings and relieve stress.
  • Practice self-care by doing things that work for you and are consistent with health advisory guidelines e.g. additional physical activity, eat well, follow routine, meditate, do things you enjoy.
  • Keep things in perspective by educating yourself about the facts and taking reasonable precautions as advised by reliable health information sources.
Ways to support others
  • Share useful and quality information to friends and family.
  • Be aware of the social stigma and discrimination that can be associated with pandemics and seek to be inclusive.
  • Psychological First Aid is a research-informed method to help people (including ourselves) which looks at the practical ways to support people by LOOKING out for people with serious distress reactions, LISTENING to needs and concerns and LINKING people with social support, information and professional help if needed.
Support and when to seek additional help
  • While most people will be able to build on existing coping resources, we can expect that a minority of people will experience a negative response that worsens or does not settle over a period of weeks to months.
  • A level of anxiety over coronavirus is completely normal however if the anxiety or stress you are experiencing continues to acutely impact on everyday life, and is not responding the strategies suggested above, a trained mental health professional may be able to help.

Glynis Nunn details how juniors sports people can get through COVID-19 virus pandemic

Former Olympic champion Glynis Nunn has detailed how juniors involved in sport can navigate through the tough times the COVID-19 virus has brought upon them.

One of the greatest challenges in history is the current pandemic that we are facing.

The impact of the pandemic on the world is astronomical. For a period of time there was brief curiosity surrounding the impact of the virus before the influence and spread became real in Australia.

However, the challenges surrounding the uncertainty or how to cope in the current instability is increasing anxiety and adding further complexity.

The impact of the virus on parts of life such as employment, economy, mental health and sense of self is currently on the precipice.

Click here to read the full article