For information about the restrictions currently in place in New South Wales, please visit health.nsw.gov.au.
We can still support our favourite local restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs during COVID-19. If you're looking for restaurants in Inner Sydney that are open and need your support, check out these helpful pages for Sydney and Balmain.
Looking for something to do? Check out my new Couch Chats series of onlines events and discussions.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Gateways to Mental Health online services
NSW Mental Health Services Categorised List of NSW Mental Health Services https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth/services/Pages/support-contact-list.aspx
Head to Health Navigation platform for links to Australian online and phone supports https://headtohealth.gov.au/
Health Direct Direct links to etherapy services https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/
Lifeline Online resources, phone counselling, text chat and webchat https://www.lifeline.org.au/
Beyond Blue Online resources, webchat, phone calls, online forums https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
Lifeline Online resources, phone counselling, text chat and webchat https://www.lifeline.org.au/
Black Dog Institute Online resources and online clinic https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
Thiswayup Online courses to improve mental health. Free access to anxiety courses till 30 April https://thiswayup.org.au/
Mycompass Online personalised self help tool designed by Blackdog https://www.mycompass.org.au/
Mental Health Online 24/7 support, programs and e-therapists https://www.mentalhealthonline.org.au/pages/signup
MindSpot Free online clinic, resources, and courses https://mindspot.org.au/
ECentre Clinic Run by Macquarie University, free online mental health courses https://www.ecentreclinic.org/
Children & young people
Kids Helpline Phone, webchat and email counselling 1800 55 1800 https://kidshelpline.com.au/
Headspace Phone, webchat and email counselling https://headspace.org.au/
Mood Gym Online course designed for ages 15-25 https://moodgym.com.au/
The Brave Program Free online anxiety program for children https://brave4you.psy.uq.edu.au/child-program
Parents and teachers
Black Dog Institute Online resources https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/news/news-detail/2020/03/22/coronavirus-reassuring-your-child-about-the-unknown
Emerging Minds For children and their families. Resources, webinars, toolkits https://emergingminds.com.au/
The Brave Program Free online program for parents https://brave4you.psy.uq.edu.au/child-program
24 hour suicide risk & emergency lines
Lifeline Crisis support 13 43 57 https://www.lifeline.org.au/
Suicide Call Back Service Online counselling, video chat and phone services 1300 659 467 https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/
NSW Mental Health Line Staffed by mental health professionals to put people in contact with a local mental health service 1800 011 511
Men specific MensLine Resources, phone and online counselling – including for fathers. https://mensline.org.au/
New parents PANDA Resources and help for new parents https://www.panda.org.au/
Mum Mood Booster Online interactive treatment sessions https://mummoodbooster.com/
SUPPORT FOR CREATIVE INDUSTRIES WORKERS
NSW Jobs required to be subsidised during Covid-19
There are approximately 280,900 people working in the creative Industries in NSW. Many are freelancers who would now be out of work, or experiencing a significant cut in their income, as a result of the Covid-19 shutdown.
“A thriving, productive arts and entertainment scene will be vital to the recovery of our state’s economy and our community spirit. When we come out the other side of this pandemic our artists, musicians, writers and all other creative industries workers will be expected to jump back in and once again do what they do best.
“Following the Arts Minister’s resignation yesterday, the NSW Government must immediately step in and offer a rescue package to creative industry workers in NSW.
“The creative industries in NSW now have a completely different set of priorities to what it did when this budget was brought down. The Powerhouse move must be the first on the chopping block and the $1.6 billion saved should go straight towards keeping our creative industries afloat through a combination of wage subsidies and grants.
Jobseeker / Jobkeeper cheat sheet
- From April 27, you'll be eligible if you're:
- A permanent employee who has been stood down or sacked
A sole trader, self-employed, casual worker or contract worker who now earns less than $1,075 a fortnight as a result of the economic downturn
- You're caring for someone who has COVID-19
- Jobseeker payments are tapered, but even if you're only eligible for a small Jobseeker payment, you will receive the full $550 a fortnight Coronavirus Supplement.
- If you are already receiving Centrelink payments, the Coronavirus Supplement will be automatically added to your payments. There is no need to contact Centrelink.
- The partner income threshold has been increased to $79,762, meaning anyone whose partner earns less than that will be eligible for a Jobseeker Payment.
- Assets testing will be waived.
- All payments will be backdated to the time you register your intent to claim.
- How to claim?
- Do not go into a Centrelink office in person, lodge your claim online, or over the phone.
- You can now:
- Prove your identity over the phone (this was previously the main reason new applicants were forced to attend service centres in person)
- Lodge an intent to claim online through MyGov
Grants and funding
- Government and Industry funding bodies are extending grants packages to assist artists who have been affected by the economic downturn, as well as maintaining their usual funding programs in most cases. This could be a good opportunity to develop works-in-isolation or plan a project to be released at the end of social distancing restrictions while still earning an income.
- Some funds to check out are below, but look into your local council for more options.
Alternative revenue streams
- In-person events such as performances, exhibitions and presentations are no longer an income stream for working artists. While it is difficult to completely supplement these funds, there are options to investigate other income sources to complement government support (i.e. jobseeker) that you may be receiving.
- You might consider:
- Launching a Kickstarter or Patreon campaign to be produced during isolation, or delivered after restrictions are lifted. Donors can we rewarded with tickets to online events, prints of artwork, or preview performances in the future.
- Producing a digital work or performance as a one-off event or regularly, with ticket sales to support.
- Producing more easily distributed work, such as a concept album, a written essay or an animation.
- Provide online classes or mentoring to those who wish to engage in creative hobbies at home, such as an online life drawing or photography course.
Supporting others in your community
- In order to reach audiences in new ways it is important to help develop a new, virtual culture of audience participation. This includes ‘attending’ adapted art events during the lockdown, and supporting others in their efforts to continue to work and adjust to the sector challenges.
- Creating a robust online arts culture will have flow-on effects beyond COVID restrictions, marginalised artists will have more opportunities to share their work and wider audiences will have the opportunity to engage. Artists may also be more capable of shifting in and out of physical and virtual spaces, building a foundation of resilience against future shocks.
- Some upcoming digital arts events are listed here:
New arts delivery technologies
Digital platforms can help you to reach your audiences during lockdown, some online options that offer free plans are listed below.
- Instagram Live
- Facebook Live
Websites and Blogging
- House Party
Making a plan for long term adaptation
- Once your income is secure and you feel your immediate needs are addressed, you may want to consider making some long term plans to adapt to a changing sector.
- Can digital engagement form part or your performances in the future?
- Have you been over-burdening yourself with gigging and performance to maintain income, is there a more sustainable ways to reach audiences and still meet your financial needs in the future?
- Have you found new opportunities to collaborate with other creators who were not accessible to you in your physical arts practise?
- Can you apply this experience to help protect yourself from future economic shocks?
Developing ideas and your practice
- The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious threat to the arts community and financial support is essential to ensure individuals can meet their immediate needs. However, there are some potential opportunities to develop creative practises and create new work in response to novel challenges in one’s environment.
- Often, artists feel pressure to produce large quantities of work to tight deadlines in order to ensure steady income, and often find it difficult to allocate time to reflection and incubation of new projects and ideas.
- Artists are, by nature, incredible problem solvers. Forced isolation could offer a unique opportunity to develop creative practises that have long term benefits. Listen to The Arts Show on Radio National to hear how other artists are adapting their practice on the Art in Isolation Segment https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/the-art-show/
- A pause from performing or working can free up time to undertake training courses and up-skill, potentially expanding avenues for new work opportunities both during and after lockdown. OpenLearn offers a number of free online courses https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/free-courses and online workshops and courses are promoted on ArtsHub https://www.artshub.com.au/whats-on/list/-/online-workshops-courses/
Wellbeing and Crisis Support
- Remember to also create boundaries and treat the ‘new normal’ WFH culture as other industry workers would. Be sure to set yourself clear working hours, take regular breaks and have some technology down-time to prevent burn-out.
- Stay in touch with your support network and reach out to friends and family regularly.
- Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is available for musicians and performing artists experiencing distress https://supportact.org.au/wellbeinghelpline/