Mental health must be top priority for lockdown

27 May 2021

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) encourages residents of Victoria to keep their mental health and wellbeing top of mind as we go into a 7-day snap lockdown.

Starting at midnight tonight, Victoria will see themselves unable to leave their homes other than for the 4 previous reasons, plus the additional reason of leaving to get vaccinated.

President of the RANZCP, Associate Professor Vinay Lakra, has urged those impacted by the lockdown to take care of themselves and their loved ones during this time, and to seek professional help if needed.

‘With Melbourne having experienced lengthy lockdowns in 2020 and subsequent snap lockdowns, it is vital that we keep our mental health in mind as we face another lockdown’, explained Associate Professor Lakra.

‘The most important thing is that we all stay connected, to keep up normal routines, continue with the things that help you relax, and keep in touch with (and check in on) family members and friends via telephone, email or social media – we are all in this together.

‘We know that since the pandemic hit, higher levels of anxiety and psychological distress have been reported in the general population.

‘There are the psychological impacts of public health measures to contain the virus which can exacerbate pre-existing anxiety and other mental health conditions, and can lead to increases in distress, symptoms and relapse into mental ill health

‘Anyone experiencing mental health symptoms should seek help, whether you are managing an existing condition, or the symptoms are new. Telehealth continues to be an option to seek help from the health professionals.

‘If you have very strong feelings of worry, unease or fear and you are struggling to cope it is important to seek the right support, information and help – effective treatments are available.’

For all the latest government information and guidance on COVID-19, please visit or

For all other expert mental health information visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 (0)3 9640 0646 or +61 437 315 911, or email