Department of Human Services

General community support, including mental health supports, food relief, grants and funding, carers, housing, and Aboriginal communities

    Q: What resources are available for mental health support?

    A: This is an unsettling time for our community, and it is normal to feel concern and worry. SA Health has compiled a list of Mental Health Services and a range of other mental health supports.

    For mental health support by phone and video in relation to COVID-19, you can contact the SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line. This service can also provide follow-up calls. Phone 1800 632 753.

    Q: What measures are being put in place to safeguard Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from COVID-19?

    A: There are no longer any South Australian Aboriginal communities subject to restrictions on movement under the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) Emergency Requirements for Remote Communities) Determination 2020 (the Determination).

    The final three communities deemed Designated Areas – the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, Gerard (Riverland), and Yalata (Far West Coast) – formally exited the Determination on Thursday, 9 July 2020.

    As a result, the Principal Determination ceased to have effect on 10 July 2020.

    Other communities – Yarilena (near Ceduna), Dunjiba (near Oodnadatta), Davenport (near Port Augusta), Maralinga Tjarutja (MT) Lands, Nepabunna (Flinders Ranges), and Point Pearce (Yorke Peninsula) – had exited the Determination earlier.

    View the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Emergency Requirements for Remote Communities) Repeal Determination 2020.

    Decisions to opt in and opt out were made by leaders in these communities.

    Some local restrictions still apply, and travellers should contact local Aboriginal councils for more details.

    For further information contact the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

    For more advice and resources see Aboriginal communities.

    Q: If the JobKeeper payment will be classed as an ‘assessable income’ when rent is calculated for public and community housing tenants?”

    A: It will be assessable as it is paid by the Commonwealth to the employer and then they pay it to the employee as wages, to allow them to retain their employment arrangements. Information about JobKeeper is often changing and the Australian Taxation Office website can provide you with the latest about JobKeeper.

    Q: I’m a carer. What am I supposed to do? Where can I get support?

    A: Carers SA is the main provider of services for South Australian carers under the Government’s carer support model. Carers SA has created a COVID-19 support page and you are also welcome to call 1800 422 737 or use the online chat function. Further information on supports provided by Carers SA can be found on their website.

    Q: Can you provide advice about managing the social inclusion of clients who have carers with them?

    A: Please refer to the latest Commonwealth Government and SA Health advice about social distancing. Lifeline and Beyond Blue have produced information providing advice on how to stay connected during this period.

    Carers SA continues to provide support to South Australian carers during the COVID-19 pandemic. For support an information for carers, please contact Carers SA.

    Q: Will contract KPIs be adjusted?

    A: Service delivery to our clients is a priority for us. If you have concerns about your ability to deliver on your contract, please contact your contract manager to discuss.

    Q: Will there be an extension of grant-funded projects/programs which have not been able to meet end-of-financial-year funding deadlines because of COVID-19?

    A: DHS acknowledges the changing environment and will be flexible. Please speak with your grants contact about options.

    Q: Are domestic and family violence services considered essential if other services get shut down?

    A: Yes, these are essential services that will continue to be delivered by DHS and NGO service providers.

    In the case of a further outbreak of COVID-19 in South Australia, the way in which services are delivered may change. Telephone and video conferencing will be used more often to ensure the safety and protection of all parties.

    For further information about domestic and family violence services and support, please refer to the Office for Women’s website.

    Q: What is the current food relief situation?

    A: The Department of Human Services Emergency Financial Assistance Program is a free confidential service for people experiencing financial difficulties anywhere across the state.

    Eligible clients can receive:

    • food parcels
    • supermarket vouchers
    • referral to Foodbank SA, or
    • assistance with other cost of living concerns.

    DHS funds NGOs to deliver these emergency relief services across the state.

    For further information please visit the DHS website.

    DHS support for people in need

    Grants of up to $10,000 through Grants SA are available to eligible not-for-profit community organisations so they can continue to deliver programs during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    There are a range of other emergency relief providers that can be found on the Affordable SA website.

    Page last updated : 18 Sep 2020

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