This page contains up-to-date information on COVID-19 and the impact to Access services. We are monitoring the situation daily and will continue to update this page.
From 30 March 2020 Access will be working under a temporary, ‘work from home’ model.
Under this model, we will be delivering our services to the community with technology, with no (or limited) face-to-face engagement, so we can limit the spread of COVID-19.
Access staff are currently calling all our clients individually to arrange the best methods to provide relevant services. In the instance where online/phone communication is not possible, we will continue one-on-one in-person communication, with necessary social distancing measures in place.
We know events of the last few weeks have been especially re-traumatising for many clients and support services are being made available where possible. Information is available below for clients and the community to help them through the challenging time ahead.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing much uncertainty, and we are aware this situation could last for several months. Access will work hard to find ways to support our community and ensure that our social connection remains strong. We will work through these rapidly changing and challenging times together.
We will be reviewing this model regularly and keep you updated on any changes.
We are still operating our Health Services across Access and Harmony Place, but with precautions in place to ensure we are keeping our clients safe.
We are aware that the current environment is causing high levels of stress and anxiety, which may increase instances of domestic and family violence. Our 99 Steps Domestic and Family Violence Support Service will remain open to support any families or individuals facing violence during this time.
We will also continue to deliver the below services:
Access: National Disability Insurance Scheme - Access:
o Community Participation
o Development in Life Skills
o Household Tasks
o Assist in Personal Activities
Harmony Place: National Disability Insurance Scheme - Harmony Place
o Support Coordination
o Therapeutic Support
Harmony Place Psychology Clinic:
o Therapeutic supports – psychosocial services, for groups and on an individual basis and clinical supports on an individual basis.
o Case Coordination
If you or someone you know are experiencing ongoing distress and require mental health support the Harmony Place Psychology Clinic is available to assist. No GP referral or Medicare card is required. Please contact the team - 3412 8282
For any community leaders who would like an opportunity to talk to our Community Development Team directly, please contact Access Community Engagement and Development Manager Blaise Itabelo - 0429 524 976.
COVID-19 Information for Communities
We appreciate, of course, that for many of our clients language is a key barrier to accessing appropriate information. A good multilingual resource for the most up-to-date information from health authorities at Federal, State and Global levels in 24 languages is available at Ethnolink Language Service’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Multilingual Resource Library.
A link to this site has been made available on our website, and we will also be communicating this resource to clients via our case workers and usual channels.
There are a number of visual infographics and video-based resources being generated by the Government, providing easy-to-understand messages on how to stay healthy. They can be shared across various social media platforms and can be found at: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-campaign-resources
Official relevant resources are also as below:
The Refugee Health Network Queensland has a lot of in language information including the Settlement Council of Australia’s list of in-language resources on COVID-19 at www.refugeehealthnetworkqld.org.au/news/
Accessing Centrelink and local council services
To see what government support is available to you please view the following links:
- Information for individuals who receive support from Services Australia – Affected by coronavirus
- Financial assistance for individuals and households – Supporting Individuals and Households- Australian Government
- Financial assistance for businesses – Supporting Businesses - Australian Government
To check what services or emergency relief your council is providing, please click on the following links:
If you're not sure of your local council, click to here to find out.
Looking after your children
From Monday 30 March 2020, schools will be 'student-free.' Parents are encouraged to keep their children at home, and only send them to school if you are unable to look after them due to your work arrangements.
Parents can access educational materials for at home learning here: https://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/learning-at-home
During this time it is important you talk to your children to help them understand and cope with the current situation. Click on the below to get advice on how to explain COVID-19 to your children:
- COVIBOOK - a short children's book to support and erasure children under 7 years of age.
- UNICEF - How to talk to your children about COVID-19.
Managing your mental health
It is understandable that during this time people may be feeling stressed, anxious and isolated, which makes it harder to take care of your mental health. Beyond Blue and Lifeline have some tips on looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak.
We also recognise COVID-19 may create or resurface past traumatic events. There is always someone to listen and support you.
If you want to talk to someone about your mental health, you can call:
- Beyond Blue for 24/7 phone counselling and online chat (open 3pm to 12am).
- Lifeline for 24/7 phone counselling and online chat (open 7pm to 12am).
- 1800 RESPECT for sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling.
- Embrace Multicultural Mental Health for multi-lingual resources, services and information about mental health.
- Head to Health for trauma and stressor related disorders
- Mensline, a telephone and online counselling service for men (open 24/7).
- QLife - LGBTI peer support (open 3 pm to midnight, 7 days a week).
- Kids Helpline – call, chat or email service for children.
- Headspace - support for young people aged between 12 and 25.
Federal Government health advice - Department of Health
QLD State Government - Queensland Health
Coronavirus Health Information Line
Telephone: 1800 020 080 - Call this line if you are seeking information on COVID-19. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Information on social distancing – Department of Health
Information on limiting public gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups – Department of Health
Incoming travel advice – Department of Home Affairs (also available in some languages other than English)
https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus - please be aware there may be significant financial penalties for anyone failing to self-quarantine upon return to Australia.
Outgoing travel advice - DFAT Smartraveller