Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 373-376

Mental health impact of COVID-19: Australian perspective

1 Department of Psychiatry, Fremantle Hospital, South Metropolitan Health Service, Fremantle, WA, Australia
2 Department of Psychiatry, Fremantle Hospital, South Metropolitan Health Service, Fremantle, WA; Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohan Isaac
Leval 6, W Block, Fremantle Hospital, 1 Alma Street, Fremantle, WA 6160
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_853_20

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Australia's response to the coronavirus outbreak has widely been considered to be among the most successful in the world. A bipartisan “national government” akin to that in wartime, a fairly unified COVID response by the federal and all the state governments, international border closures and quarantine, some of the best coronavirus testing in the world, and widespread public acceptance of physical distancing, all contributed to Australia being able to call itself the “lucky country” in its successful navigation of the COVID crisis. The country clearly had a plan for the mental health consequences of COVID. The impacts of lockdown were identified early, and steps taken to mitigate them. There was no spike in tertiary mental health presentations. Telehealth was embraced, support services mobilized, and public awareness of mental health issues made part of the conversation. While anxiety seemed raised nationwide, much of this lays at a subclinical level, manifesting through activities such as increased consumption of alcohol. Management of the burden of increased nationwide anxiety was carried out through online-based nongovernmental organizations, often directly recommended by the government itself.



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