According to a study of people living in the city and those who don’t, rural and regional communities across NSW have fared better than those in Sydney in dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health.
The findings of the first major representative study of COVID-19 mental health impacts in NSW, undertaken on behalf of the Mental Health Commission of NSW, shows that one-in-five people in the Sydney area experienced a new mental health issue during 2020, compared to one-in-10 across the state as whole.
NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey said rural and regional residents reported experiencing fewer relationship, financial and practical impacts than those in the city during 2020.
Current stay-at-home orders in Sydney yet to be measured
Mental health responses to the most recent stay-at-home orders in greater Sydney are yet to be measured, but Ms Lourey said ‘pandemic fatigue’ may well have increased negative mental health experiences for many people.
‘Unsurprisingly, the impact of COVID-19 and the associated shut-downs has been more muted in rural and regional communities than it has been in Sydney,’ Ms Lourey said.
‘Overall, younger Sydney metro residents were more likely to report either negative or positive impacts than older people living in rural or regional NSW.
‘Over 30 per cent of those in rural and regional communities reported experiencing no negative impacts during 2020, compared to 20 per cent of those in the greater Sydney area. Having said that, they also experienced fewer of the positive impacts reported by those in metro areas, such as being more careful with money, less road and public transport congestion and a slower pace of life.
More anxious, more stressed and less in control
‘Although the negative impacts of COVID-19 were less, around one-third of rural and regional residents reported being more anxious, more stressed and less in control than usual during 2020,’ Ms Lourey said.
‘At the same time, regional and rural residents were more likely than those in the city to name looking out for neighbours and the elderly as ways in which their community has benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic.’
The study involved 2,000 NSW residents aged over 18 – including more than 600 from rural and regional NSW – representing a cross-section of the community, with a further sample of people who reported a mental health issue in 2018-2019 or a new mental health issue in 2020 – as advised by a health professional.
The research was commissioned to provide insight into the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in NSW, the types of support being accessed and their impact on those living with mental health issues, and identify what is needed to support wellbeing as the fallout from COVID-19 continues.
Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19
Eleven local government areas (LGAs) in Queensland have now been identified as areas of concern in relation to COVID-19.
Anyone in NSW who has been in one or more of eleven particular Queensland local government areas since 21 July is required to stay at home for fourteen days from the date they were last in those areas, 'or until the notice is revoked', authorities said Monday.
Getting too caught up in the details can mean that we are distracted, says political commentator Andrew Street – we need to step back to ask the bigger question of why we’re at this point at all.
Police say they have arrested fifteen people following protest activity in Brisbane CBD this morning.
Queensland Health has issued a statement that says the current lockdown in South East Queensland will continue for another five days as a precaution following new cases in the state.
The South East Queensland three day lockdown, from 4pm Saturday 31 July to 4pm Tuesday 3 August 2021, will have implications for schools in the border region. The lockdown includes the areas of: City of Brisbane; City of Gold Coast;...
The decision by NSW State Premier Gladys Berejiklian to redirect Pfizer supplies from the North Coast to Sydney has drawn criticism from local Federal MP Justine Elliot.
This is the full version from the edited down July 28, 2021 Echo print edition: A flyer circulating within the community is making claims against the government's COVID-19 powers, and provides supporting legislation, claiming the information provided is to 'inform...
The Byron Farmers Market is to be held opposite Elements resort on Bayshore Drive this week, while health authorities use the Cavanbah Centre for a drive-through COVID testing service.
Anyone who cannot wear a face mask because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition must now carry proof of exemption.
Forty-five travellers from Sydney are being urged to get tested for COVID-19 and continue self-isolation on the Northern Rivers after sharing a flight with a confirmed case.
Hans Lovejoy, editor Scientists have warned that now the UK has come out of lockdown on ‘freedom day’ (July 19), it will lead to ‘a generation left with chronic health problems and disability, the personal and economic impacts of which...
Do you live in Byron Bay, Wategos, Suffolk Park, Sunrise, or Broken Head? If you have any COVID symptoms or have potentially been exposed get tested.
The Queensland government has declared all of NSW a COVID hotspot and will close its border to NSW at 1am Friday, 23 July for four weeks.
Health authorities say they’ve classified more than forty people as Covid Nineteen close contacts via a Northern Rivers exposure site.
Rumours that popular Lulu’s Café in Mullumbimby was ordered to close due to non-compliance with public health orders weren’t true, the owner said Monday afternoon.
Tweed-Byron police fined a 25-year-old Main Arm man $1,000 for breaching state public health orders over the weekend.
Health authorities on the Northern Rivers say the region now has a supply of the Pfizer Covid 19 vax.