- Mental health/mental distress
- Food/emergency/financial relief
- Domestic and family violence services
- Aboriginal community services
- Children’s centre and school social supports
- Support services for kids and teens and young adults
- Support services for farming families and businesses
- Support and information for people with a disability
- COVID Connect phone service
- Community services and grants
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse community services
Mental health/mental distress
It’s normal to feel stress and worry when there is a health event happening in the community that is affecting people’s wellbeing, such as COVID-19.
This can affect any person in the community who is concerned about the infection, with more specific concerns arising for people being tested, people in quarantine and people who have received a diagnosis. Stress about job losses and self-isolation can also impact a person's wellbeing. Family and friends can also experience similar mental health impacts.
Most people will manage with the support of family and friends, but others may need some extra help to keep things on track.
If people are quarantined and needing food or other basic necessities, call 1300 705 336.
If people are NOT quarantined but need support, eligible clients can receive food parcels, supermarket vouchers, referral to Foodbank SA or assistance with other cost of living concerns.
If you need help, it is as simple as finding your region from this list and phoning the related number.
The National Debt Helpline is available for anyone at risk of or experiencing financial trouble and can be accessed by calling 1800 007 007.
Trained financial counsellors will assess an individual’s situations and provide free advice to help. If they cannot help immediately, the National Debt Helpline will refer people to financial counselling services that specialise in more complex matters. They’ll also put people in touch with other services that may be needed, such crisis food relief and accommodation services.
The Emergency Financial Assistance Program provides free and confidential emergency relief to people experiencing personal financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Support is broad and includes food relief and help with other essential living expenses, including medications and utility bills.
No Interest Loans provide individuals and families on low incomes with access to safe, fair and affordable credit. Loans are available for essential goods and services such as fridges, washing machines, car repairs and medical procedures for up to $1,500. Repayments are set at an affordable amount over 12 to 18 months.
Domestic and family violence services
DHS’s Office for Women is working with its partners to continue to deliver essential supports for women and their children.
You can still get support with domestic, family and sexual violence by phoning:
- 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) - 24/7 toll-free national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line
- 1800 800 098 – 24/7 South Australian Domestic Violence Crisis Line
The Women’s Information Service (WIS) phones also remain open for information that promotes choice and empowerment.
The WIS shopfront in Adelaide is closed until further notice. Physical distancing measures ensure clients, staff, volunteers and the community are safe.
Aboriginal community services
Tiraapendi Wodli in Port Adelaide is continuing to provide programs, including women’s fitness classes via Zoom!
An Aboriginal COVID-19 Taskforce has been established to ensure families have access to timely supports and accurate information.
The Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement is continuing to provide services via phone.
Find your local South Australian Aboriginal Controlled Health Service here.
Children’s centre and school social supports
DHS supports wellbeing and community connections of children around the state via Safer Family Services. Safer Family Services provide support to help keep children and young people safe at home with family and in culture.
These services are accessible via schools, children’s centres, health services and the Department for Child Protection.
Activities are tailored to the needs of individual children, families and communities.
Children’s centre locations can be found on the Department for Education website.
Support services for kids and teens and young adults
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 free call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Parent Helpline South Australia: 1300 364 100 (cost of a local call) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Youth Beyond Blue is available to help young people cope with stress, anxiety or if you’re feeling down. They can also provide advice on how to support someone else with these feelings. Call 1300 22 4636 24 hours a day.
Headspace has a range of resources to support young people feeling overwhelmed or stressed during the uncertain times of COVID-19.
Support services for farming families and businesses
Rural communities are strong, resilient, and are often buoyed by a proud history of overcoming adversity. South Australia’s rural communities face many challenges including drought, bushfires, and now the threat of COVID-19. It is important to remember that help is out there if and when you need it.
The Family and Business Support Program provides experienced rural-based mentors, ready to help farming families and businesses during difficult situations like drought, bushfire and other adverse events, including COVID-19.
Ifarmwell is an initiative which is designed to improve farmers’ wellbeing and help them adopt effective coping strategies when they are faced with challenges. There are a range of free tools and resources available on the website.
Primary Industries and Regions SA also provides links to helpful health and wellbeing information, advice, resources and support services.
Rural Business Support
Farming and small business ownership in rural South Australia certainly has its challenges, including managing the ongoing impact of drought, in some areas recovering from bushfires, and managing the impacts of COVID-19.
Rural Business Support provides free, independent and confidential services that can help rural-related business owners who are concerned about their financial future.
Assistance is available by phoning 1800 836 211 or at www.ruralbusinesssupport.org.au
Support and information for people with a disability
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have developed a dedicated section on their website with COVID-19 specific information and support for people with a disability, support workers and providers.
- Latest advice and guidance from NDIA including any changes people need to be aware of
- Information for individuals and providers trying to find support workers during COVID-19
- Specific information for individuals about their health and safety, managing their plan and using their budget, support workers and applying for NDIS during COVID-19
COVID Connect phone service
People can register themselves, loved ones and friends for the Red Cross COVID Connect service.
The phone service has been activated to support South Australians whose wellbeing is impacted as a result of COVID-19 social distancing and self-isolated measures.
Vulnerable South Australians can opt to receive a free, daily phone call checking on their welfare in response to COVID-19.
Community services and grants
There are more than 100 Community Centres in SA. These local spaces connect local community, provide a range of services and activities and often offer pathways to employment and skill development. Even when community centres are not physically open, many are working to support and connect through online activities. Community Centres SA are hosting Community Conversations (details via the monthly e-newsletter) where inspiring leaders give insight into how they are supporting community connections and wellbeing. Find your closest Centre or visit the Community Centres of SA Facebook page for more details about upcoming events.
The Salvation Army’s Towards Independence program continues to support vulnerable people with appropriate social distancing.
DHS has implemented integrated partnership groups in regional centres across South Australia to support the safe and equitable distribution of community resources as well as provide collaborative wrap around services to families with children experiencing high risk situations. Contact Alisa Willis for further information on 0410 119 596.
Not-for-profit community organisations can apply for a new government grant to help them continue to provide services and support to the community during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Grants of up to $10,000 are available for things such as:
- IT equipment to enable staff and volunteers to operate from home, including computers, webcams, headsets etc
- Internet data increase costs
- Software licensing costs
- Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
- Volunteer and staff transportation/communication costs
- Website upgrades/updates
- Short-term hire of vehicles, storage, or equipment
- Items or resources such as project officer salary to supplement or expand existing services experiencing increased demand due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
- Items or resources such as project officer salary to prevent disruption of services due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Staple grocery items such as food and cleaning products to be distributed to households in need.
Applications are open until 20 October via the DHS website.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse community services
We want to ensure that South Australians from all cultural backgrounds receive high quality support and services through its agencies. There are also many non-government organisations that provide specific support services to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Community (CALD) communities in South Australia including:
- Multicultural Communities Council
- Australian Migrant Resource Centre
- Australian Refugee Association
- Refugee Health Services
- STTARs (Survivors of Torture, Trauma and Abuse)
- Lutheran Community Care
- Red Cross SA
Some specific cultural groups in South Australia are:
The 2020–21 Cost of Living Concession will receive a once-off boost of $500, and be brought forward, for households who are receiving the Centrelink JobSeeker Payment. This measure is to assist people who are unemployed or lose their jobs as a result of COVID-19.
For more information see the Cost of Living Concession web page.
Support is also available for international students needing financial assistance via DHS and StudyAdelaide.