R U OK? Day: Expert says coping strategies are key

Published:

The pressures and challenges of COVID-19 have made healthy coping strategies more important than ever, says USC Clinical Psychology Professor Helen Stallman.

Professor Stallman, who leads the suicide prevention research team at USC’s Thompson Institute, said coping strategies were available to everyone, and evidence showed they made an enormous difference.

“Coping is the fundamental thing here, and we recommend a set of four strategies that we know from our studies help people feel better and more in control,” she said.

“Firstly, we suggest self-soothing strategies such as taking a couple of deep breaths. From there, doing things that are distracting or relaxing such as watching TV for half an hour.

“Then we recommend talking to friends and family, because contact with people makes us feel better and, if you find those things aren’t working, talk to a health professional. You don’t have to have a mental illness to ask for help.

“Having healthy coping strategies like these are more important than ever before, as more people face unstable employment, are balancing childcare with work, and facing restrictions on the activities that usually make them feel good.

“Most people are feeling unsettled and that is a normal response when we get out of our routine. Feelings of worry or missing normal activities are not a medical illness,” she said.

She said R U OK? Day also provided parents with a great opportunity to have important conversations with their children, help them name their unpleasant emotions, and then support their children to believe in their own ability to cope with those emotions.

“You can simply ask your child ‘how do you feel and what are you doing to cope with this feeling?’. It really helps normalise the idea that we all experience unpleasant emotions,” she said.

“Kids will also copy your behaviour, so what you are doing yourself to cope sets an incredibly powerful example for them.”

USC’s Thompson Institute is currently offering a free program for Queenslanders wishing to proactively support their mental wellbeing. Queenslanders can register for EMERALD via the website usc.edu.au/EMERALD. Eligibility criteria apply.

 
Community Health & Wellness Lifestyle Science & Research University & TAFE
Social:   

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Business leader is Outstanding Alumnus for 2020 15 October 2020 | Colin Vale of Caloundra, who graduated with a Master of Business Administration from the University in 2010 while leading the Anitua Group on Lihir Island in PNG, was among four winners announced today. More information...
USC social media class trends at Aus/NZ awards 14 October 2020 | The likes and positive comments are flowing for USC’s Social Media degree program after it gained high recognition at the 2020 Australian and New Zealand Social Media Marketing Awards. More information...
83% bushfire survival of endangered macadamia: USC research 01 October 2020 | USC-led research in Bulburin National Park, between Bundaberg and Gladstone, has recorded 83 percent survival of the wild population of an endangered native macadamia nut plant, following the 2019-20 summer... More information...
Research finds new way to help frail older people 30 September 2020 | A $6.9 million global research project involving USC as the only Australian partner has developed a new monitoring and intervention system to slow or even reverse the progression of frailty among older adults. More information...
Blue carbon focus for ocean-loving world champion 24 September 2020 | The coronavirus pandemic may have upset world champion stand-up paddleboarder Brianna Orams’ plans to compete in the sport’s 2020 Euro Tour – but the USC Environmental Science student refuses to see it as a... More information...
CIDSEL facilitates leadership conference for future diplomats 26 September 2020 | More than 40 young Australian university students from across the country have been selected to participate in the United States Embassy Student Leadership Program from August to December 2020. More information...
Report highlights USC’s financial benefit to regions 24 September 2020 | The significant financial impact that USC is having on its communities has been highlighted in a new report released today by the Regional Universities Network (RUN). More information...
Collateral damage: Deadly funnel-web spider toxin did not evolve to kill humans 22 September 2020 | While funnel-web spider bites in Australia can be deadly, a scientist from USC Australia has helped discover that human deaths are simply an unfortunate side-effect of the spider’s strong self-defence system. More information...
Jess designs a career that’s dedicated to dogs 21 September 2020 | Architectural designer Jess Johnson had a different career switch in mind when she decided to study Animal Ecology at USC – until she met a koala-detection dog named Bear and his other canine companions. More information...
USC students gain early start to media careers 17 September 2020 | Two USC Journalism students who recently secured full-time reporting jobs in a challenging media landscape say the secret to their success was embracing every opportunity to gain real-life skills through their... More information...


comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service