Youth and Family Services are available to support young people during the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is not unusual to be feeling stressed, worried, anxious or even bored during this time.

Whether you’re looking for things to do while you're staying at home, or are needing some extra support, we are here to help you.

Check out this page for heaps of free online resources, activities and tips to help keep you happy and healthy while you are self-isolating at home.

Fitness at home

Healthy eating

Support services

We will continue to update this portal so please contact us at youthservices@cgd.vic.gov.au to let us know your suggestions and what you would like to see us include. To keep up to date, follow Greater Dandenong Youth Services on Facebook and Instagram.

Here are our latest picks...

A guide to dealing with constant change due to COVID-19
COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work and socialise. While it's normal to feel frustrated and unsettled by all this uncertainty, there are strategies that you can use to help deal with life changes. Check out these useful tips developed by ReachOut.

Tips to get back into life during COVID-19
Headspace has developed a useful fact sheet to help young people cope with the transition into new COVID-19 restrictions. They also provide personalised information and support to meet your individual needs and concerns.

ReachOut Online Community
ReachOut Community is a place for 14-25 year olds to chat, connect and support each other online. You can hear what’s going on for other young people, share advice and even play games together.

H R U? Podcast
Tune in weekly to this podcast series that unpacks some of the most challenging and taboo issues that young people deal with on the daily. From peer pressure, identity, and relationships, to navigating finances, study or work-related stress – H R U? provides a safe, open space to discuss the issues that affect you.

Bite Back: Mental Fitness Challenge
The Black Dog Institute has developed six weekly challenges to help you improve your mental fitness, increase your happiness, reduce stress, improve your friendships and your focus.

The Check-in app
beyondblue created this app to help young people help each other. It’s not easy to start conversations with friends or family who you think might be struggling – or to know how to help once you do talk about it. The Check-in app guides you through how to approach the topic of mental health, questions you could ask, how to respond and what you could do to best offer support.

YMCA 360
Although gyms may be reopening, you can still tune into free guided fitness classes from the comfort of home, courtesy of YMCA. They have a huge range of tutorials available, including yoga and pilates, boxing and weightlifting, as well as soccer and basketball drills.

Not sure what to make with the ingredients you’ve found at home? SuperCook lets you enter what ingredients you have and then instantly finds matching recipes from popular cooking websites. You can prepare delicious meals while saving time and money!

Look after your physical and mental health

With social distancing, you are more likely to feel isolated and lonelier than usual. It is crucial that you try and find ways to maintain a healthy routine for your physical and mental health by:

  • Staying active
  • Eating and sleeping well
  • Maintaining social connections 

Headspace has created a useful toolkit for maintaining a healthy headspace and coping with stress related to COVID-19.

BeyondBlue has also created a great resource on keeping active and looking after your mental health during COVID-19.

Resources for young people experiencing family violence during COVID-19
COVID-19 may mean that there’s an increased risk of family violence in some homes. If you, or someone you know, is affected by family violence, it’s important to remember that you are allowed to leave your home to find safety and seek help. Check out YACVic’s guide for young people experiencing family violence for more information. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

Regulating your media exposure

Being exposed to lots of negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety. While it’s important to stay informed, you might find it useful to take a break from the news and limit your media exposure.

Remember that you can edit your settings on social media to unfollow pages and block unwanted news stories from showing up in your feed.

It’s also important to get accurate information from reliable sources. This will also help you maintain perspective and feel more in control. We recommend these sources:

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness is when we are fully present in the moment – focused on the task we’re doing, free from distraction or judgment. It helps us to relax and regulate emotions, and can reduce worries, stress and anxiety.
There are lots of different ways that you can practice mindfulness. Some people like to meditate, while others like to write in a journal, colour in, or exercise instead.

Not sure where to start? We recommend trying out Smiling Mind – a free app that guides you through daily meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Check out this video Smiling Mind created about how to practice mindfulness.

Breathing exercises
One of the easiest – yet most effective – ways to practice mindfulness is by focusing on your breathing.  Slow, deep breathing is great for calming ourselves and focusing on the present.

There are guided breathing and relaxation exercises on the below websites:

Or download the ReachOut Breathe app for free

Gratitude is the practice of reflecting on the things that we are thankful for. Appreciating the good things in our life can help us to cope through tough times and can boost our mood.
Practising gratitude is easy and doesn’t take much time. Try these ideas and see what works best for you:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Take five minutes each day to think of and write down three things that have happened that you’re glad you experienced.
  • Take pictures. Set yourself a mission to photograph little things in your everyday life that make you smile.
  • Tell someone you’re grateful to have them in your life. Whether you write a letter, send a message or make a phone call, take the time to tell someone that you appreciate them.

You don’t have to think up a whole bunch of really significant things in order to be grateful. You can be grateful for the smallest things, such as the sunshine, your morning coffee, or the fact that you made it to your train on time.

To find out more:

For further information, please contact Youth and Family Services on:

Phone: 9793 2155
Email: youthservices@cgd.vic.gov.au
Facebook: cgdyouthservices
Instagram: greaterdandenongyouthservices