HELP is here if you need it, the manager of a mental health hub says after Victorians awoke to new COVID-19 restrictions.
Masks were made mandatory indoors again, a cap on visitors to Victorian homes was tightened, and plans for more workers to return to offices were put on hold after the state recorded its first locally-acquired COVID-19 infection in 27 days.
A hotel quarantine worker at Melbourne's Grand Hyatt Hotel tested positive for the virus late on Wednesday.
The revised restrictions kicked in at 11.59pm on Wednesday - less than two hours after they were announced.
Bendigo Advertiser readers were among those with questions about the changes and concerns the situation would escalate.
HeadtoHelp Bendigo hub manager Janaya Wiggins said people might be experiencing some anxiety about restrictions and the potential for further COVID-19 infections in the Victorian community.
She expected people who were hit hardest by last year's lockdowns to be among those most concerned.
Ms Wiggins encouraged people to talk to their loved ones about how they were feeling and to seek support.
"It's always better to seek support earlier than leaving it," she said.
HeadtoHelp hubs were established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on mental health.
Ms Wiggins said the service could help with coping strategies for people who were feeling stressed or anxious.
"That's exactly what we're here for," she said.
She said the hub could offer appointments on the same day or next day, depending on the person's needs.
HeadtoHelp is a free service and offers in-person and telehealth services.
The Bendigo hub, based at Bendigo Community Health Services in Kangaroo Flat, recently expanded its operating hours.
Ms Wiggins said people could also contact their GP for support.
People between the ages of 12 and 25 could contact headspace Bendigo.
Ms Wiggins suggested people who were feeling anxious about new virus outbreaks and restrictions monitor their media exposure.
"You want people to have updates and be aware of what's occurring, but not to get consumed by it," Ms Wiggins said.
She encouraged people who might find following the news too overwhelming to take a break and to ask a friend or family member to let them know about any important updates.
"If you're worrying about anything at all, talk to somebody," Ms Wiggins said.
For further information about HeadtoHelp, visit headtohelp.org.au. To book an appointment, call 1800 595 212.
If you or someone you know needs urgent support, contact:
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