Health Impact Solutions
In significant times, there is an overwhelming volume of information to sift through. It is difficult to source or even know where to look for credible sources of information. Incredibly, there are also individuals and groups working to actively fill social media with misinformation. Search for information that can be verified as evidence based and the source well positioned to provide balanced and unbiased information.
The list below has been developed to support organisations and individuals through COVID-19 #InThisTogether. The resources identified are by no means an exhaustive list and many of them provide further links. The intent is to demonstrate a number of places that you can consider meet the core requirements of being evidence based and unbiased. Then, from this you can adapt or consider against your own circumstances. One challenge will be to manage the volume of the more sensationalist information received by you or those around you, while still keeping in touch with emerging issues. (updated 19 April 2020)
#InThisTogether campaign from the Mental Health Commission provides valuable resources and an emphasis on reaching out to those around us. Includes social media tools to help you distribute through your workplace or to your clients/members.
Beyondblue provide numerous resources and further support for managing your mental health during the changes and disruption from COVID-19.
Sane Australia COVID-19 Resource page. Practical ideas and links to resources and information. Includes links to online forums, particularly useful further information if you also experience anxiety or depression.
#InThisTogether campaign from the Mental Health Commission provides valuable resources and an emphasis on reaching out to those around us.
Search for unbiased, evidence-based sources of information. Despite commercial new sources (online, print or television) appearing to report the news, there is always a fundamental self-interest that will influence headlines or the message - carefully consider how much of this information you absorb.
Many academics have now worked to simplify their writing to increase the distribution of high quality coverage on specific issues. Try The Conversation where you can subscribe to a daily email which will point you to the most current articles on COVID-19 and other topical issues.
Media outlets and social media have a deliberate intent to condense the information into small chunks to get the attention of as many readers as possible. With a requirement to spend extra time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, consider spending the time on more considered articles that look at both the issue and the surrounding issues.
More valuable reading will come from websites like The Doherty Institute where they specialise in infectious diseases. Regular COVID-19 articles are now produced. Similarly, the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics is another option. For more technical reports and analysis, go to Imperial College London’s Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis.
An interesting view on emerging social issues can be found at Pro Bono Australia.
Misinformation is common and reinforces confusion, anxiety and antagonism toward political or other community leaders. Much of it is deliberately aimed at creating disruption. There is a worthwhile article on The Conversation, outlining the challenges of identifying ‘Bots’ working their way through social media platforms. They generate support for misinformation, though aren’t factual or even a real person’s opinion. These were also evident through the recent bushfire crisis.
More recently, media has also started giving the impression the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over. However, we have schools preparing to deliver all of term 2 online and other significant strategies being set up for a six-month period. The most useful approach for the moment is to set up the best routine you can for the current situation and progress through each week or month as your focus.
The ‘Practical Resources’ page on the Health Impact Solutions website provides an example daily schedule to adjust to every day at home. This way you can create a structure to work to that reduces the likelihood of being drawn in to the evolving media cycle.