COVID-19 Community Support
Last updated 12/10/2020
A Bass Coast COVID-19 Response and Recovery Group has been established to help guide, support and advocate for Bass Coast through the COVID-19 pandemic. To contact this Group, call (03) 5671 2211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are important actions that you can take to keep yourself, your family and your community safe during this time. The Department of Health and Human Services has released the COVID-19 Home Safety Plan as a great way for you to plan and be prepared for our new COVID Normal ways. Take the time to look at the actions you can take to keep us all safe and healthy.
It's important to look after our mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and normal to feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed during uncertain times. Sharing how you feel with someone can help. Here are some different ways you can seek support:
- Contact your local GP and let them know how you're feeling. They will be able to provide you with advice and provide you with an appropriate referral if required.
- Contact Partners in Wellbeing on 1300 375 330. They offer a free one-on-one confidential service for people 16 years and over who are experiencing feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed.
- Beyond Blue offer practical advice and resources. The Beyond Blue Support Service offers short term counselling and referrals by phone and webchat on 1300 224 636. There's also a COVID-19 Beyond Blue web page.
- Lifeline offer tips, resources and advice as well as crisis and suicide support. You can phone them on 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days), Text 0477 13 11 14 (6pm - midnight AEDT, 7 nights), or online chat through their website (7pm - midnight, 7 nights).
- Visit the Department of Health website for information on what other services are available.
- Visit the following trusted websites for online resources for managing your health and wellbeing during COVID-19:
- The Australian Psychological Society has information sheets on a range of topics from managing lockdown fatigue to supporting children with autism in a COVID-19 environment. There is an extensive list of support resources to assist people with specific circumstances.
- Head to Health includes links to a range of resources from managing your financial stress to protecting our elderly. They also have a page with practical psychological tips for coping with infectious diseases.
- The Australian Parenting Website has a COVID-19 guide outlining tips for supporting children within a COVID-19 environment and helping families cope.
Dr Rob Gordon is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the field of disaster recovery since Ash Wednesday in 1983. He is a consultant to Red Cross and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and has worked with people and communities after the Port Arthur shooting, the Bali Bombing, Black Saturday, the Christchurch Earthquake as well as numerous floods, fires, cyclones and other events throughout Australia and New Zealand.
The following video series was developed with the support of the Latrobe Health Assembly, Latrobe City Council, Latrobe Health Advocate, Gippsland PHN, Central West Gippsland Primary Care Partnership and the Victorian Government.
Video 1 - Dr Gordon unpacks some of the emotions that 2020 has brought out in us as we have been tested with two ‘lockdowns’, social isolation and an understandable fear of the unknown.
Video 2 - Dr Rob Gordon explores how 2020 may be affecting our overall energy as we work to get through a second ‘lockdown’ period in Victoria.
Video 3 - Dr Gordon unpacks what we might be feeling and importantly, he shares some sound advice about making sure you access the support that is available.
These are unprecedented times and it’s more important than ever that we reach out for assistance if we need it.
To support the community, Council is partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services in a Program called the Community Activation and Social Isolation Initiative (CASI) - designed to connect community members with local community organisations who can provide some of the practical, emotional and social supports that may be needed during this time.
If you, or someone you know, could benefit from extra support during this time such as a regular phone chat, assistance with navigating technology to stay connected to family and friends, or joining a social activity group, then please phone the Victorian COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 675 398 and press 3 to speak to an Australian Red Cross volunteer. The volunteers are trained in assessing your needs and can refer you to a range of support services including the CASI Program.
You can find further details on the Program in the fact sheet below
DHHS provide important guidance on emergency situations during COVID-19, including preparing your property for fires, floods and storms.
Use Red Cross's guide for emergency planning to capture all the things you need to consider and do to be prepared.
Emergency Relief packages
Emergency relief packages are available for those who have to self-isolate due to COVID-19 and are unable to arrange family or other support. To access a relief package, call the Victorian COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 675 398.
Supermarkets such as Woolworths and Coles have established Priority Assistance Services, to arrange home delivery for those most vulnerable including seniors, people with a disability, or those who can not leave their home. Some local independent supermarkets are also offering this service. Call your local independent supermarkets, grocers or convenience stores to find out what services they are offering.
If you meet the following criteria you can organise to have your medicine delivered. Call your local pharmacy to discuss delivery.
- people isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner, in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee for confirmed COVID-19 cases,
- people who meet the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection after consultation with either the national COVID-19 hotline, state COVID-19 hotlines, a registered medical or nursing practitioner, or COVID-19 trained health clinic triage staff
- people aged over 70
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50
- people with chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised
- parents with new babies and people who are pregnant
For more information, visit the Australian Department of Health website.
- These are unprecedented times and you may find yourself in challenging situations that you haven’t had to navigate before. The Commonwealth and Victorian governments have a range of financial supports to assist families/individuals and businesses/industry during this time.
- There is a Support Package for Victorian Workers impacted by COVID-19 and there are welfare packages in place for those who are eligible. For more information on welfare eligibility and to access any of these services, visit Services Australia. Job seekers are encouraged to register with the Working for Victoria website.
- The Good Shepherd, is offering Household Relief Loans Without Interest for people affected by COVID-19. Loans of up to $3,000 are available for rent, bond, rates, body corporate fees and utility bills – with no interest, charges or fees. Call their COVID Hardship Support Hotline on 1300 121 130 for further information and support.
- The Victorian Government put in place a moratorium on evictions, rent relief for eligible tenants, suspension of rental increases, and a continued dispute resolution process on 29 March 2020. The moratorium will continue to 28 March 2021. Make sure you understand the renting rules and support during the moratorium.
- We encourage people to speak directly with their landlords or real estate agents about the possibility of reduced rent. If you receive more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit, or already receive welfare payments from the Australian Government, you may be eligible for Rent Assistance.
- Many banks are developing and offering Coronavirus Assistance packages, including a six month freeze on mortgage repayments. We encourage you to get in touch with your bank to discuss what support is available to you.
- We adopted a COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy at our May Council Meeting, which will help impacted ratepayers cope with additional financial burdens caused by the pandemic.
- Impacted residential ratepayers and businesses, including businesses that lease their premises, will be able to apply for an interest-free deferral of the fourth instalment of their 2019/20 rates and the first instalment of their 2020/21 rates, until 30 June 2021.
- Visit our Rates page or contact our rates team on (03) 5671 2211 or 1800 BCOAST (226 278) for more information.
Enliven have developed a series of Easy English Resources which can be downloaded. They include visual infographics and information on COVID-19 translated into Chin Hakha, Chin Falam, Karen and Zomi.
DHHS has COVID-19 translated information in more than 40 languages for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, health professionals and industry. Information includes factsheets and promotional materials.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission has a range of resources available on their website, include webinars, and a list of support packages available to charities and not-for-profits.