A Manual For Riding Out the Mental Health Crisis

September 28, 2020

Tim O'Brien - CEO

The Little Blue Book of MENTAL HEALTH – COVID-19 EDITION

  • A ‘front-foot’ approach addressing the mental health challenges to Australian workers, families and individuals posed by the pandemic
  • A clinically evaluated publication presented in an easily read and easily accessed style
  • Providing strategies for resilience, for protecting mental health, for positive thinking and ‘active coping’, as well as strategies to assist and support others who may be struggling.
  • About ADA Australia: professionals in the provision of workplace mental health and drug and alcohol awareness training.

The coronavirus pandemic, the stress and dislocation of ‘lock-down’ and the economic uncertainty that has followed in its wake, presents serious challenges to the mental health and wellbeing of Australian families, workers and individuals.

Uncertainty for the future, loss of employment, an economy in deep recession and so many once-healthy businesses in a struggle for survival, pose questions around financial security and personal and family wellbeing that few Australians thought they would ever need answer.

The result is unprecedented demand for crisis services and helplines and a broadly recognised need for increased mental health support for individuals, families and communities.

In response to the challenges of the pandemic and lockdown, ADA Australia has produced and published The Little Blue Book of MENTAL HEALTH – COVID-19 EDITION.

“It is our view that an effective way of dealing with the mental health challenges of the pandemic is to ‘reach in’ with help and advice to individuals and families who may be struggling, rather than waiting for them to ‘reach out’ to ask for help,” The Little Blue Book author and ADA Australia Head of Content Tim O’Brien said.

“The Little Blue Book places the right advice, information and access to support directly into their hands. It is designed to help people recognise and understand the negative emotions triggered by the pandemic, to provide strategies to help them protect their mental health, and, if struggling, to encourage them to seek professional help and support.

“Taking the first step and picking up the phone can be hard. We think that too many families and individuals are battling-on alone without this information and support,” Mr O’Brien said.

So, what is The Little Blue Book?

This clinically evaluated publication is to provide information, awareness and personal practices to help individuals and families ‘ride out’ the challenges and uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption to lives, workplaces and communities it has brought.

It provides strategies, information and advice:

  • For resilience, for positive thinking and for ‘active coping’
  • For protecting mental health while working remotely (or in isolation)
  • For recognising anxiety, depression and negative responses to stress and insecurity
  • For defusing frustration and anger and addressing gendered and family violence
  • For recognising and assisting others struggling with depression, anxiety and damaging negative thinking
  • For addressing negative behaviours such as gambling, smoking and substance use
  • For understanding and assisting children coping with anxiety

“All ADA Australia trainers have recovery backgrounds with lived experience of mental health and addiction disorders,” ADA Australia Chairman Anthony Pettiona said.

“We understand better than most how hard it can be for someone who is struggling with mental health challenges, or an addiction disorder, to simply ask for help. That’s why we work to put mental health into everyday discussion.

“We work with union groups, NGOs, and large and small organisations and companies. Our ‘boots on the ground’ approach is to encourage conversation about mental health and building positivity and resilience by putting information and support at their fingertips,” he said.

“We’ve made it our task to raise awareness right across the community. That’s why we’ve produced The Little Blue Book of MENTAL HEALTH -COVID-19 EDITION in such an easily read, jargon-free format.

“We think that with the right information, help and advice, families and individuals can turn this challenge into an opportunity to grow stronger, to grow together, to rediscover connection and unity of purpose, and emerge the better for it,” Mr Pettiona said.

ADA Australia conducts workplace, online and community-based mental health and drug and alcohol awareness training workshops for small and large companies and organisations across Australia. Among its clients are Worksafe Victoria, Electrical Trades Union, Australian Workers’ Union, VACC, Coca Cola Amatil, Wilson Group, and Opal Packaging Australia, among many others.

Darren Harland, Director, ADA Australia.

“All of us at ADA Australia have been down a long dark road. I ended up in a public suicide attempt with a wish to end it all. Thank God I’m still here and able to help so many others find the way to good health and enjoyment of life. That’s why we do what we do.”


For more information, comment or media engagement call us on 1300 378 429.

Tim O’Brien
Author: The Little Blue Book of MENTAL HEALTH – COVID-19 EDITION

Article by
Tim O'Brien - CEO