A second year of living with COVID-19 has prompted a massive surge in the number of people seeking treatment for burnout and chronic stress at The Banyans Residence.

The Banyans Health and Wellness has recorded a 140% jump in enquiries in the year to end-November, 2021, regarding help to overcome burnout and chronic stress with the majority of enquiries coming from women.

“2020 was a really difficult for year for all of us, throwing us challenges that no one had predicted. There was a sense of overwhelming relief when it came to an end,” The Banyans Healthcare Group Chief Executive Officer Ruth Limkin says.

“Then 2021 happened. No one really had the chance to recover from the stress of 2020, which means the impact of 2021’s challenges has been compounded.”

Women comprised 65% of the enquiries for burnout and chronic stress treatment in further evidence that females are taking the brunt of the stress associated with the pandemic.

A 2021 survey of more than 1400 Australian women found that two in five (39%) believe burnout will hinder their professional ambitions, making it the second-highest perceived hurdle for women to get ahead, after lack of confidence.

Related: Too tired? You’re not alone


Women are working hard to meet their work, relationship, and family commitments. Many are feeling overwhelmed, overloaded, and utterly worn out. 


Turning to alcohol for support

Data from The Banyans Health and Wellness also showed an increase in co-occurring dependency concerns. In the 2020/21 period, 37.4% of those enquiring for burnout and chronic stress were also turning to substances, mainly alcohol, for support. This was up from 23% in the previous period.

Multiple studies show Australian working and home-schooling mothers are now near breaking point. 

Ruth says the increased use of substances as a crutch illustrates the importance of receiving treatment for burnout and chronic stress as early as possible.

“Many of the people who enquire about burnout and chronic stress treatment are just starting to turn to a substance to support them. They have not yet built up a reliance or a dependency on it, but are certainly at risk of that happening,” Ruth says.


It emphasises the importance of getting help as soon as possible in order to prevent a secondary and more challenging condition developing.

Listen to Ruth’s interview with 4BC on burnout and chronic stress.


Make time to rest

A 39-year-old mother, who works part-time in her profession while also bringing up her three children, aged eight, 10 and 12, is a prime example of the source of many enquiries at present.

This woman carried the main responsibility for the maintenance of the home and looking after the children. She had no additional family support as her parents and in-laws did not live locally.

“This woman was suffering from overload stress and feelings of isolation when she called us. She described constantly lashing out at her partner and her kids,” The Banyans Health and Wellness Clinical Director Peter Hayton says, adding this woman had also undertaken a one-week Rest and Refresh program at The Banyans with a very positive outcome.


This type of story resonates with so many women at the moment and it’s clear that COVID has made things significantly worse.


Peter also pointed to a 55-year-old businessman with multiple businesses and high levels of stress as another example of how effective early intervention for burnout and chronic stress can be.

The businessman was exhausted, and felt a huge burden of responsibility to his several hundred employees. He recognised he was starting to use alcohol more frequently as a coping mechanism and that his relationship with his wife was suffering.

Related: The cost of burnout inaction


Feeling like you can no longer cope despite outward appearances? It’s time to make yourself a priority. 


While he was reluctant to take time off work to receive treatment, he decided to do a one-week Rest and Refresh program at The Banyans Health and Wellness, a nine-bed private residence on Brisbane’s northside. His wife also received relationship counselling through The Banyans at the same time.

Peter says said the businessman reconciled with his wife and also addressed his use of alcohol.

“Taking some time out for himself really turned his life around and set him up to be more productive at work as well,” Peter says.


Initially not enthusiastic about the benefits of doing the program, ultimately he was so glad he did.


Feeling burnt out? Get help now

The Banyans offers one- or two-week Rest and Refresh programs that include healthy meals, exercise programs, and therapy programs including yoga and mindfulness. Psychological support and relationship counselling is also available.


The Banyans Health and Wellness offers 7-to-14 day packages that allows you the time and environment to rest, regroup, plan, and move forward.


The organisation’s flagship business, The Banyans Health and Wellness, has provided treatment and support to more than 250 individuals and their families for a wide variety of mental health and substance dependency conditions since opening in mid-2016.

Internal research has shown residents have achieved an average improvement of 74% in their dependency measures after completion of a program at The Banyans.

Importantly, The Banyans Health and Wellness is open throughout the Christmas and New Year period.

The Rest and Refresh program is about ensuring you are in the best physical, emotional, and mental position to tackle 2022 with confidence, strength, and poise.

The ripple effects of making time to prioritise your own wellbeing will be felt by your employees, family, and friends, so you are helping them start 2022 in a better position too.

The Banyans Health and Wellness is available 24/7 to help you begin your journey towards a life good mental health. You can call anytime on +61 1300 226 926 or submit an online enquiry to begin learning how we can help you rediscover the fullness of life.