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COVID-19: Managing Mental Health in Community Living

Not only do strata communities have a role in physical health, they also have a big role to play when it comes to mental health...

In a time where issues like loneliness and isolation have been front of mind, it’s no wonder mental health has become such a big focus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Australian strata communities have so far largely stayed on top of the physical health risks of the coronavirus pandemic, there is some urgent work needed to ensure good mental health as well.

Mental health services like Beyond Blue have already been experiencing extremely high demand for support services during the pandemic, with contacts to their support services rising 60% higher in April and May compared to the same period in 2019 and then 47% higher in June.

With states like Victoria now inundated with a second lockdown, it’s crucial that strata communities revisit mental health and put programs in place to ensure a happy, healthy community.

Happy and healthy strata communities are underpinned by good communication, neighbourly connection and relationships so we’ve put together a range of steps managers and owners can take to ensure mental health isn’t compromised moving forward.

Everyone can play a role in improving mental health, so these tips are for anyone in the strata community.

Tips for creating a mentally healthy strata community

Stay connected

Whether with your loved ones or neighbours, it’s important to stay connected with your support network.

Living in strata communities is a natural setting for staying connected with your neighbours and be it via technology or the good old fashioned notice boards, we encourage communities to make the effort to reach out.

It could be as simple as leaving notes in your neighbour’s letterbox or something a little more sophisticated like setting up a Facebook group for members of your community.

It’s via these notes or letters where you can ask if anyone would like a phone conversation, a favour, or just check in with them via message. Remember to respect people’s privacy if they don’t feel comfortable to participate.

Stay active

Physical health is very closely linked with mental health and we’re recommending communities and owners look at ways to stay active. Research shows following a regular exercise routine is good for maintaining mental health because it is something we can control and gain a sense of achievement out of.

With the spread of germs in mind, try and exercise somewhere that doesn’t involve touching or spending extended time in common areas. If you can’t get out, stretching, yoga and simple cardio exercises that you can perform in the comfort of your home may be your best option.

The Federal Government has made a list of exercises for ‘Out and About’ and ‘Home’ that we think communities will find useful. You can read this article here

Gather all the information

If you are getting stressed about the ‘what ifs’ – consider putting a master list together of all the information your community needs. Anxiety builds off the back of unknowns and with so much uncertainty about, its timely that owners and communities re-iterate their plans and strategies to help get through this time.

Since this pandemic took hold of strata communities in March, there has been a mountain of information for owners and communities to keep track of.

To help counter anxiety and stress, owners and communities may be benefited by condensing all the most up to date information in the form of FAQs and electronic resources.

Making the answers to burning questions readily available for yourself and your community will make all the difference in limiting anxiety about your community and day-to-day life.

Seeking further advice?

If you wish to discuss any strata community matters further with an Ace Body Corporate manager, please do not hesitate to visit our contact page and locate your nearest Ace manager for a chat.

Note: We are not in the position to provide health advice and we encourage you to keep up-to-date with guidance provided by the Australian Government on their website, visit here.

Ace Body Corporate Management
Disclaimer: This is not advice and should only be referred to for general information purposes. Strata management contracts often vary, so we recommend you contact your local Ace manager for more information, or seek expert legal advice. This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.Ace Body Corporate Management offers this newsletter to clients to assist in updating them on company and industry news. The content within this newsletter is of a generic nature and may not be applicable to all owners corporations. Ace Body Corporate Management attempts to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information for our clients, however we strongly recommend that individuals and committees seek further advice before acting on any information in this newsletter.