Our mental health and personal wellbeing are profoundly linked to the quality of our personal relationships with friends and family as well the wider groups and communities to which we belong.
A sense of belonging leads to increased happiness and personal satisfaction and overall increased quality of life. It is crucial, particularly as we flatten the COVID-19 curve through social and physical distancing and isolation, to continue to nurture our relationships with the important people in our lives and take the time to strengthen the communities to which we belong.
Relationships with family and friends
We know that maintaining positive relationships with family and friends can be challenging at the best of times. Some of the restrictions that have been put in place temporarily to help stop the spread of COVID-19 have meant that we are unable to spend time with family and friends in ways that we normally would. While technology provides many of us with opportunities to connect with our loved ones, we recognise that social isolation measures and the other stress associated with the current uncertainty around COVID-19 means extra pressure on our relationships and on our wellbeing. Parents are also facing extra challenges as children are spending more time at home whilst also learning from home.
Relationship support services
Relationship Australia South Australia (RASA) is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of South Australians by working to sustain and improve their social environment which includes families, friends, colleagues and communities. RASA provides information, resources and counselling services to people who need help or support with their relationships.
During this time of transition, RASA is providing appointments by telephone or via videoconferencing. Its training organisation, the Australian Institute of Social Relations is delivering nationally recognised courses and professional development fully online at this stage. There are also some services that require face-to-face contact. This contact occurs strictly in with adherence to the RASA COVID-19 Drill and their program guidelines.
Their services are currently free until 30 June 2020.
Through COTA SA’s Rainbow Hub, Older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) South Australians can access a range of focused programs, services, events and activities. Many of these services have moved online and are further supplemented by phone, video call, postal letters or email contact to accommodate social and physical distancing and isolation protocols.