Frequently asked questions relating to physical and mental health support during the Coronavirus situation.
Can I leave my home during an emergency?
For advice on what to do if your home is impacted by power outages, storm damage or other emergencies, visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/emergencies-and-coronavirus-covid-19
What can I do to support my community?
You can support your community by contacting friends, family and neighbours and those who are vulnerable and may need help: the elderly or people who have pre-existing medical conditions, people living alone and single parents. You may be able to assist them with shopping or essential items or simply lift their spirits by checking in.
Make sure you practice safe hygiene and follow guidelines. You can also refer to the Geelong Community Directory at www.geelongaustralia.com.au/directory
The Australian Red Cross is still accepting blood donations from community members. If you are able to assist, please book an appointment by phoning 131 495. If you would like to join with the many individuals who knit Trauma Teddies for children in hospital, guidelines and patterns are available online.
Who can I reach out to for general support?
Encompass Coronavirus Assistance Hotline is a telephone-based support service available free of charge. If you or someone you know is experiencing feelings of distress, financial hardship, social isolation or anxiety, please call 1800 943 055. The phone lines operate between the hours of 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday.
I live alone and I am in self-isolation. How can I get food and groceries?
Victorians self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19) with no access to food and essential supplies will receive emergency relief packages under a program introduced by the Victorian Government.
The program will support people in mandatory self-isolation, who have little or no food, and no network of family and friends to support them. Each eligible household will receive a two-week supply of essential goods.
It can be accessed by calling Victoria’s dedicated coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
I am experiencing financial hardship. What can I do?
If you need financial support, visit the Australian Government website for information about targeted support for people who are impacted financially by the coronavirus lockdown measures.
The following agencies can provide you with advice about assistance that you may be able to access.
- Centrelink: 132468
- National debt helpline: 1800 007 007
- Victorian Concessions Information Line: 1800 658 521
- Utility relief grant scheme: 1800 658 521
- Good Shepherd Microfinance: 13 64 57
- No interest loan scheme - St Vincent de Paul: 5229 8829
- Justice Connect: justiceconnect.org.au
I have financial difficulties. Can I access food relief?
Contact the following agencies to ask about food relief which may be available.
- Emergency relief program - Bethany Community Support: 5278 8122
- ADRA share kitchen: 6 Little Myers street Geelong, Thursdays from 4.30pm
- Anglesea Foodlink (for Anglesea and Aireys Inlet): 5263 2116
- Bellarine Living and Learning Centres: 20 Worden Court, Whittington: 5248 1926
- Bethany Community Support - Emergency Relief: 5278 8122
- Catholic Care - Geelong Family Resource Centre: 0428 898 645
- Christ Church community meals: 5221 8055
- Cottage by the Sea (for Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff): 5258 1663
- Drysdale Family Support Food Bank: 5253 2099
- Feed Me - Bellarine, Geelong & Surf Coast
- Feed Geelong
- Norlane Community Initiatives - People's Pantry: 5278 6171
- OneCare Geelong: 5229 2133
- Portarlington Food Assistance: 5258 6140
- St Andrews Foodshare: 0451 095 881 or 5275 4597
- St Mary's Parish Pantry: 5222 1977
- St Vincent de Paul: 5221 9170
- Salvation Army Northside: 5275 7771
- Salvation Army - Doorways: 5223 9200
- Sikh Community of Greater Geelong: 0423 069 194 or [email protected]
I am a person with a disability, family member or carer. What support is available?
The Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme has announced a range of measures to support NDIS participants and providers.
If you have a speech or hearing impairment, you can call the National Relay Service on 133 677.
The Barwon Disability Resource Council provides individual advocacy and support. Contact details are:
Leisure Networks provides NDIS Disability Support Services, financial plan management services, and support coordination services via video conferencing.
Inquiries should be directed to the Customer Engagement Team on 5222 3911 or by emailing [email protected].
I am an international student - what help is available for me?
Information about support services for international students including
food relief, legal advice, financial assistance and accommodation, is available
on the Study Geelong website. The site also has information on staying healthy and informed, and
links to Study Melbourne’s Covid-19 support page for international students.
I am experiencing homelessness. What can I do?
If you are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness, in the first instance contact the 24-hour statewide crisis accommodation service on 1800 825 955. Other agencies may also be able to provide advice and assistance.
- DHHS Crisis accommodation service (24 hours): 1800 825 955
- Centrelink: 132468
- Emergency accommodation inquiries - SalvoConnect: 1800 825 955
- Barwon Child Youth and Family 5226 8900
- Towards Home+ Geelong: 1300 275 811
I am pregnant. Am I more at risk of infection from COVID-19?
Please see the information provided by Barwon Health at www.barwonhealth.org.au/coronavirus/covid-19-and-pregnancy
I am experiencing high levels of anxiety or depression. What should I do?
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful. Fear and anxiety about a disease can cause strong emotions in adults and children.
Family Violence and safety at home
It is important for anyone experiencing family violence to know that family violence is never ok, no matter the circumstances or situation. Victoria Police has indicated that their family violence response will not change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Call police on 000 in an emergency
- Contact The Orange Door: 1800 312 820 (people of any age, gender, sexuality, culture and ability are welcome) 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday except public holidays
- Contact SAFE STEPS: 1800 015 188 If you are a woman or women with children experiencing family violence and you are in need of immediate help. This is a Statewide service and operates 24 hour, 7 days a week.
Should you need support to help stop you using violence against your family please contact: 1300 766 491.
I need to resolve a dispute. Who can I contact?
The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria provides resolution services, conflict coaching, information and advice about common civil (non-criminal) issues like neighbourhood disputes, fences, trees, noise, anti-social behaviour. For inquiries, contact 5215 8591.
Do you need Information in selected languages and access to translators?
If you have a coronavirus disease-related question and need a translator:
- Call 131 450
- Then request the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398
Please visit the following sources for updated information: