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Coping with unemployment

2-minute read

Losing your job or being unemployed long-term is very stressful and can easily have an effect on your mental and physical health. Here are some tips for getting through:

  • Assess your financial situation - Work out how much money you have and how long it will last. You may have to change your spending habits until you get back on your feet. Try not to use your credit card, because the high interest rate and repayments can add to your financial stress in the long run.
  • Find out about your entitlements - These may depend on your circumstances and some benefits have waiting periods, so call the Department of Human Services on 132 300 as soon as you can.
  • Contact your bank or financial institution if you owe them money - You may need to discuss different repayment options.
  • Contact your superannuation fund - You may be able to access your superannuation early or access benefit entitlements if you are retrenched.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help - There are lots of services that provide everything from emergency relief if you’re in crisis to emotional and practical support. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s MoneySmart website lists a range of organisations that can assist you through difficult times.
  • Talk to your doctor - They can help you care for your physical and mental health and refer you to services that offer help and support.

Where to get help

Talk to your doctor or another trusted health professional if this is happening to you and discuss your situation and how you are feeling. You can also call:

  • beyondblue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) – call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
  • Lifeline (anyone having a personal crisis) – call 13 11 14 or chat online.
  • Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) – call 1300 659 467.
  • Black Dog Institute (people affected by mood disorders) – online help.

Last reviewed: December 2016

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