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Deputy chief medical officer tells Melburnians struggling with lockdown to make their beds

Melburnians struggling through the city’s COVID-19 lockdown should make their beds to combat mental health issues, a top medical expert has advised.

Dr Nick Coatsworth issued a series of suggestions to those ‘suffering from psychological distress’ due to the Victoria’s tough restrictions that have left thousands out of work and confined 6million people to their homes. 

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer said setting daily, ‘achievable goals’ would be key to getting Melburnians through the next two weeks of Stage Four lockdown.

‘One of the simplest things you can do in the morning – and this was said to me once at a leadership seminar by someone who is a very good leader, is make your bed,’ Dr Coatsworth said on Tuesday.  

‘It sounds so simple, but if you get into some structure and routine for the next two weeks while the Stage Four restrictions are still in place in metro Melbourne and the surrounds, those sorts of achievable goals and structure can be very important to keep you on track.’

Dr Nick Coatsworth has issued 'a series of things that can really assist' Australians 'suffering from psychological distress due to the restrictions' ahead of R U OK? Day on Thursday. Pictured: A Melburnian in lockdown in Victoria

Dr Nick Coatsworth has issued ‘a series of things that can really assist’ Australians ‘suffering from psychological distress due to the restrictions’ ahead of R U OK? Day on Thursday. Pictured: A Melburnian in lockdown in Victoria

Melburnians struggling through the city's COVID-19 lockdown should make their beds to combat mental health issues, a top medical expert has advised (stock)

Melburnians struggling through the city’s COVID-19 lockdown should make their beds to combat mental health issues, a top medical expert has advised (stock) 

Dr Coatsworth added: ‘My advice to you is this: Make sure you’re staying connected with friends and family. If you’re feeling isolated, take what can sometimes be a difficult step to reach out and maintain those important connections.’

He urged people to contact support networks such as Beyond Blue or Lifeline if they were ‘thinking about behaviour or doing things that may be dangerous, to yourself even’. 

‘If there is a psychiatric emergency in your family, then importantly, accessing emergency department services is critical,’ he said.

‘I hope that helps over the coming weeks. It is not going to be easy.’

A person is seen walking across a quiet Bourke Street on September 6

A person is seen walking across a quiet Bourke Street on September 6 

Dr Coatsworth (pictured) advised Melburnians to keep in touch with friends and family throughout this time, especially if they were feeling isolated or experiencing dark thoughts, and take up a hobby

Dr Coatsworth (pictured) advised Melburnians to keep in touch with friends and family throughout this time, especially if they were feeling isolated or experiencing dark thoughts, and take up a hobby

Thousands flocked to social media to mock Dr Coastsworth’s ‘bed making’ advice, with some labelling it as ‘a joke’ and ‘condescending codswallop’.

‘Most Melbournians won’t be able to afford sheets and a blanket the rate the economy is crumbling,’ one commented.

‘Is this a joke?’ another asked. 

‘Telling desperate people losing their livelihoods that they should make their beds? They can’t sleep at night Mr Coastsworth because of the failures of the team you are a part of,’ a third said.

Many social media users have criticised Dr Coatsworth's advice - labelling it as 'a joke' and 'condescending codswallop'. Pictured: Online comments about the recent health advice

Many social media users have criticised Dr Coatsworth’s advice – labelling it as ‘a joke’ and ‘condescending codswallop’. Pictured: Online comments about the recent health advice

‘This is condescending codswallop and unlikely to help anyone that’s struggling with their mental health at this time. I would strongly recommend anyone not in Victoria to refrain from giving us mental health advice at the moment,’ another social media users said. 

As part of the first step of easing restrictions from September 13, Melbourne’s curfew will move back an hour – operating from 9pm until 5am – and singles will be allowed to visit one another as part of the ‘singles social bubble’.

Public and household gatherings will also increase to two people for a maximum of two hours as part of the roadmap out of COVID-19 lockdown. 

Dr Coatsworth's advice to people struggling with mental health amid lockdown was criticised on social media

Dr Coatsworth’s advice to people struggling with mental health amid lockdown was criticised on social media 

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