Friday 11 September 2020
Dear sector colleagues,
South Australia continues to track well with no new or active cases of COVID-19.
With the easing of restrictions and the announcement last week by the Premier, Hon Steven Marshall MP, that it is safe to return to work if social distancing and cleaning can be maintained, particularly in common areas, it is easy to feel like life is returning to a pre-pandemic normal.
Now, however, is not the time to be complacent. Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, should get tested. Pleasingly, more than 400,000 COVID-19 tests have now been undertaken in South Australia. Further information about testing.
Yesterday we recognised World Suicide Prevention Day. This global day of action is an opportunity for us to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention, and share a message of hope in the community.
Suicide is not only one of the most prominent international health issues, but in our State, it’s the leading cause of death for South Australians aged 15 to 44. Beyond the statistics, suicide leaves profound emotional, social and economic impacts for families, friends and communities.
Across DHS and through your own organisations, in the many interactions and interfaces we have with members of the community, we can help to diminish the fear, judgement and discrimination that others may experience. We can each play a role and share responsibility to support community members and their families to seek and receive help.
In what has been an especially challenging year for many, now more than ever, it is important to take the time to reach out and start a conversation if you notice that someone might be struggling. The simple act of providing a listening ear with compassion, empathy and lack of judgement can truly help restore hope.
SA Health has established a network of telephone and online services that can provide you with mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic. For information see the COVID-19 Mental Health Support page. For further information about available mental health services in South Australia, please visit the SA Health website.
Thank you for working to keep our communities safe whilst continuing to deliver vital and essential services. If you would like to discuss any concerns, please contact DHS's COVID Response Team via DHSCOVIDResponse@sa.gov.au
More information on COVID-19 in South Australia
Acting Chief Executive