THE Federal Government has shown a commitment to mental health in what has been described as a "one in 100-year event" by the Prime Minister.
Over the weekend, a $1.1 billion package was announced to expand a range of mental health, domestic violence, community support and telehealth services in Australia during the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the recipients of a share of the funding is Lifeline, a vital suicide prevention and mental health support service.
Lifeline chairman John Brogden said Lifeline plans to utilise the funding to ease unemployment by increasing the organisation's Crisis Support capacity to meet the growing demand for the service.
While it is unknown at this stage how much, if any, of the extra funds will be directed to Lifeline Central West specifically, CEO Stephanie Robinson has welcomed the Federal Government's support at this difficult time.
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She said the government is being proactive, acknowledging that more people are going to be relying on mental health services for support.
"I think it's like there is a health disaster as in our physical health and what they are trying to do is curb the curve of the impact on our mental health, and the government is very much being on the front foot," she said.
Lifeline has seen a sustained increase in calls, which started around December when Australia was being devastated by bushfires.
"Last week, 39 per cent of callers were talking about fears surrounding the coronavirus," Ms Robinson said.
"There is a real mixture of people seeking support due to increased levels of anxiety.
"... For the most part, it was around fears for finance, things like job security, moving forward what that is going to look like, and for some people that has come on top of the drought and fires."
One of the few positives to come out of the pandemic, though, is people who have had little to no personal experience with mental health issues now showing a level of understanding they never had.
People are also working on maintaining connection to others.
Ms Robinson said it was important for people to continue to connect with family and friends, as well as people who may not have a support network around them.
Those who need support can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.