Supporting you during COVID-19

We are closely monitoring and responding to the latest expert advice from government and health authorities. 

Our FAQs and dedicated COVID-19 information page provide the most current information and are updated regularly.

You can find out more about our Financial Hardship grant for students or visit Online exams FAQ for information on how exams will be run.

The Western Australian Department of Health and World Health Organization websites also detail the latest evidence-based information and health recommendations in response to COVID-19.

Your wellbeing

The current situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) is a stressful time for many. It's important to remember everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Feeling concerned about your health and wellbeing, and that of your friends and loved ones, is a normal reaction.

Identifying ways to manage stress and engaging in strategies to support yourself will help with your mental health and wellbeing. Take a look at the video playlists below from UWA Sport and UWA's School of Psychological Science for their tips on staying well.

Healthy mind Healthy body

The UWA Robin Winkler Clinic is also running an 8-week group therapy program via Zoom by provisional psychologists under supervision by clinical psychologists. The group will run for eight weekly 90-minute sessions and there is no fee for attending. Register your interest by emailing clinic-sps@uwa.edu.au or call 6488 2644.

Recognising your emotions

Stress and feelings of anxiety are a common response to any situation where we feel under pressure, and they usually pass once the stressful situation has passed. The sooner you recognise the symptoms, the sooner you can seek support.

Common feelings you or those around you may be experiencing include:

  • anxiety or worry
  • feeling fearful about your health or the health of your family
  • feeling helpless or frustrated about a loss of control over your day-to-day routine
  • withdrawing from other people
  • tearfulness or sadness
  • uncomfortable physical symptoms such as a racing heart, lack of appetite, an upset stomach, and/or headaches
  • increased symptoms of any chronic health problems

  • changes in eating habits
  • irritability or anger
  • lack of energy or motivation
  • changes in sleeping habits, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or experiencing nightmares
  • difficulty concentrating
  • increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other substances

Practical ways to take care

During this time, it is important that you take steps to maintain your health and wellbeing:

Prioritise self-care

Looking after ourselves is an important part of daily life, but during times of uncertainty, self-care is more important than ever. A self-care plan helps you focus, stay healthy and make decisions. It includes eating well, getting enough sleep, connecting with friends and family, and practising mindfulness. This fact sheet from the Black Dog Institute can help you set a plan or visit UWA's Health Promotion Unit Facebook page for helpful tips.

Your feelings are valid

It’s okay to feel anxious, scared or overwhelmed. The current situation is rapidly evolving. Recognise your feelings and emotions will fluctuate in response to the current situation. Expressing your feelings can help you make sense of things. Talk with friends, write in a journal, practise meditation or join a Beyond Blue forum or a Headspace group chat. If you're still struggling, consider speaking with a UWA counsellor for free, confidential support.

Stick to a routine

Emotional health is strongly affected by regular routines. Routines help us be organised and give a sense of achievement/accomplishment. Try to wake at the same time each day, prepare your breakfast as usual and dress like you would to get yourself in a positive frame of mind. Avoid alcohol and drugs, and maintain a healthy diet. Get among nature if you can or check out some of the exercise classes UWA Sport has online.

Share good news and keep connected

You are not alone in this. During times of stress, staying connected to your friends and family can help you feel supported and comforted. Talk to your loved ones about how you’re feeling and listen to their thoughts, too. It can be helpful to reflect daily upon our achievements, successes or things we appreciate as a way of re-framing our thinking. As challenging as times can be, most of us can find at least one thing each day that went well or that we are grateful for.

Take a break from the news

If you find you’re frequently checking the news or social media for updates or are feeling distressed or focusing on negative information, take a break. Switch off and try to maintain the things you enjoy like exercising, reading, watching your favourite series or going for a walk. While it's common to feel some stress in response to this situation, it's important to know that anxiety and fear can escalate through lack of accurate and factual information. The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has great resources about coping with coronavirus anxiety.

Do you need help?

We’re here for you. Whether you have questions about your enrolment, are feeling unwell or down, or are looking for extra assistance with your studies, a range of support is available at UWA.

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    Medical care
    Make an appointment to see a doctor/general practitioner by booking online.
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    Counselling
    Speak to a counsellor via the phone or an online Zoom consultation. 
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    Welfare
    Our dedicated Student Welfare department can help if you're seeking emergency housing and require assistance.

    Your welfare

    The University cares about your safety and wellbeing.

    Accessing food

    • Foodbank Australia works closely with more than 400 charities across WA to provide emergency food assistance. You will need to register with a charity organisation that is close to where you live. Register with a local charity, call FoodBank on 9258 9277 or email wa.info@foodbank.wa.gov.au.
    • Ask Izzy is a free and anonymous website where you can search more than 360,000 services to find housing, meals, healthcare, counselling, legal advice and a whole lot more.
    • ER Connect connects you with services that provide food relief, financial counsellors and emergency accommodation.

    Finance

    The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging time for everyone. If you are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19, we're here to support you. 

    UWA has developed the COVID-19 Financial Hardship Grant. This new grant will provide immediate support to eligible onshore students who continue their studies with UWA and who are assessed as demonstrating significant financial hardship. To help us understand your circumstances, please complete the application form.

    Apply now 

    Being overwhelmed with financial stress is difficult to deal with. Externally, the National Debt Helpline provides free, independent and confidential service.

    If you have no income and/or cannot afford basic necessities, help is available. The Department of Social Services, Australian Government Grant Service Directory provides details of support agencies.

    Housing

    There may be options within UWA Accommodation our team can discuss with you, such as the UWA housing database – a directory of rental and share accommodation. Many community organisations also provide support. Contact Student Welfare for assistance.

    • Anglicare WA – Yes Housing assists youth aged 15-25 years who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with accessing long-term housing, call 9263 2009.
    • Centrecare Family Accommodation Service offers assistance for families who need help to maintain and/or access medium-term, non-emergency, supported accommodation.
    • Tranby East Perth – Crisis accommodation is available for people following a personal interview. Visit Tranby House at Unit 6, 5 Aberdeen Street East Perth at 7am for a personal interview or call 9220 1200.

    Are you at risk of losing your housing?

    • RedCross WA provides support and helps you understand tenancy agreements, negotiate with landlords and find suitable accommodation.
    • Tenancy WA provides advice on rental problems through an online appointment booking service. Call 9221 0088 (metropolitan) or 1800 621 888 (country free call). It also has fact sheets with advice on cessation of lease and eviction.

    Other University support

    External resources

    Mobile apps

    • Smiling Mind – free mindfulness and meditation app to help you look after your mental health and manage stress and daily challenges.
    • Headspace – free Weathering the Storm program available, including a curated list of calming meditations, help with sleep, and at-home workouts or movement exercises.

    External counselling and support services

    Crisis support

    Counselling and mental health support

    What should I do if I feel unwell?

    If you start to feel unwell and develop symptoms of COVID-19, you should:

    • not attend a University campus
    • isolate yourself at your place residence
    • immediately contact the Health Direct Hotline – 1800 022 222 (24/7), your usual doctor by telephone or University Medical Centre on 6488 2118 and inform them of your travel history or contact with a potential case of COVID-19

    For more information, visit our COVID-19 FAQ page.

    General support

    If you’re still not sure where to go, contact Student Central, who can direct you to services right across the University, or Visit us virtually.

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