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Tesch urges residents to support each other

Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch has urged residents to support others in the community, particularly the aged, as increased isolation due to the coronavirus threatens the mental health of many.

Ms Tesch said she was conducting her own outreach service, with a team of volunteers making regular calls to residents aged more than 65 to check on their wellbeing.

There are 11,500 people in the Gosford electorate who are aged over 70, she said.

"Recipients are very grateful for that unexpected contact.

"Physical isolation is important during this time but that does not mean you have to be alone."

Also, Ms Tesch is encouraging children to be involved by writing a short note or draw a picture and send it to her office.

"I will compile them and send on to an older person in our community, along with information about Covid-19 and what support is available to let them know that people in our community care," she said.

Ms Tesch said it was vital to support each other as communities transitioned to a more isolated way of living to combat the spread of Covid-19.

"Individuals and families are reaching out for mental health support as they make huge adjustments," she said.

"The challenge in making any single change is significant and yet we have home schooling, job loss, financial stress, business restructuring, working from home, not enough toilet paper and so much more all happening at once.

"It has brought families together in ways we haven't seen in a generation and that can be stressful as we all adapt to living so closely and for so long under one roof.

"I encourage everyone to look for the positives, stay in contact with friends, and reach out to those you know might be isolated."

Ms Tesch welcomed the Federal Government's announcement of $74 million in funding to support mental health and wellbeing of the community, including $10 million to Beyond Blue to create and deliver a dedicated coronavirus wellbeing support line, as well as $14 million to improve the capacity of mental health support providers who have experienced an unprecedented surge in call volumes.

Those in need of mental health support can phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

Notes or drawings to forward to the local aged community in isolation can be posted to Ms Tesch's office at 20 Blackwall Rd, Woy Woy 2256, or can be scanned and emailed to gosford@parliament.nsw.gov.au

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