For young people and families

For young people and families

It is normal to feel sad, distressed, worried, confused, scared or angry during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If you're struggling or you're feeling concerned about some changes in your behaviour, there are things you can do that may help.

Please understand that however you feel, it’s normal – and it’s ok to seek support. We have compiled a number of self-care tips that you could try.

COVID-19 is causing a lot of uncertainty for young people, especially when it comes to work and study. If you’re feeling up to it, there are ways you can stay on track with your work and study goals. If you're returning to work, study and other activities, it's ok to feel nervous, apprehensive or anxious. We have some tips on how to ease back into work, study and other activities.

If you are supporting a young person during COVID-19, you can find tips and resources here.

If you would like further support, visiting your GP or a headspace service is a great place to start. However, if you have a cough, fever or runny nose – do not go to your GP. Find out what steps to take here.  If you are having trouble breathing call 000.

If you are looking for someone to chat to now, Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) are available to talk 24/7.

For support

Taking care of others

If you’ve noticed that someone you care about is feeling anxious, you may want to ask if they are okay.

If they require support, recommend they see their GP (if able – see the latest alerts here first) or psychologist, or call Lifeline (13 11 14).

Your physical health

If you think you may be at risk of contracting COVID-19, or would simply like more information, visit the Department of Health’s site here. At times like these it’s important to stick to official sites for accurate information.

It’s well known that our physical health affects our mental health. We recommend getting plenty of exercise and keeping active. If you have to stay home, there are many ways to exercise at home – you can find some great examples on YouTube.

International students

If you are an international student or you are supporting an international student studying in Australia, information can be found on the Study in Australia, Australian Government, and National Hardship Fund websites.

Financial and other supports are available to international students experiencing hardship. 

Support for students studying in:

Read Orygen's statement of support for international students


Impact of COVID-19 on young people's mental health

Orygen would like to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of Australian young people, their use of different technologies at this time and the role that these technologies might play in supporting them. 

To participate in this study, you must be aged between 16 and 25 years (inclusive), currently living in Australia; and able to read English.

When you finish the questionnaire you will be able to enter the draw to win an iPad by providing your email address. Your email address will not be connected to your questionnaire response.

Take the survey

Drug and alcohol use during COVID-19

Researchers at Orygen are seeking to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the drug and alcohol use of young people living under COVID-19 restrictions.

The study involves an anonymous online survey. The survey will ask some general questions about you, as well as questions about your drug and alcohol use and mental health. If you participate you will be given the chance to win a $50 gift voucher.

To participate in this study, you must:

  • be aged between 15 and 25 years old (inclusive);
  • have been living in Victoria since February 2020 and are currently under Stage 3 or Stage 4 restrictions; and
  • have used one or more of the following drugs in the past year:
    • alcohol;
    • nicotine/tobacco;
    • illegal drugs, such as cannabis, MDMA/ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, ketamine, GHB, heroin, etc; or 
    • pharmaceutical opioids (pain medications), sedatives/sleeping pills or stimulants/amphetamines that were not prescribed to you or which were prescribed to you but taken more frequently or at higher doses than prescribed.

Take the survey


Orygen has compiled a number of resources which may assist young people and their friends and family to stay well and on track with their goals in a time of COVID-19.

Self-care during the COVID-19 outbreak

Managing work and study in a time of COVID-19

I'm struggling. What can I do?

Returning to work, study and other activities

Tips for families caring for young people during COVID-19