Health and Mental Health After a Disaster

Health and Wellbeing

Free health and wellbeing services are available to people impacted by fires and drought (no GP referral needed):

Hunter / New England Healthwise | 1800 931 540

Northern NSW - Connect to Wellbeing | 1300 160 339

Mental Health

Experiencing bushfires or other disasters or can be mentally distressing, even for those indirectly affected by the disaster or who do not lose property in the fire.

It’s normal to experience a range of emotions after a disaster event, including anxiety, sadness, forgetfulness, and sleep disruption. These immediate reactions are normal, however if the distress does not subside in the following weeks and your day-to-day functioning is seriously affected, it is important you discuss with your GP or seek advice from a mental health professional.

For individuals directly affected by bushfires, the Australian Government provides distress and trauma counselling for front line emergency services personnel, and psychological therapy sessions for bushfire affected individuals and families.

Please visit the National Bushfire Recovery Agency website for more information.

Tips on managing your recovery:

  • Spend time with family and friends.
  • Try to get back into a routine.
  • Continue a healthy lifestyle (eating, sleeping, exercise.)
  • Take time out, but don't isolate yourself.
  • Express your feelings in your own time and way.
  • Accept help when it is offered.
  • Limit the amount of media coverage you are exposed to.
  • Don’t expect to have all the answers.
  • Know you are not alone in your experience.

It’s important to have someone to talk to, to listen and give you support.

Check in on your friends and neighbours. If you or someone you know needs help, reach out.

Free Mental Health Services Available 24/7

Mental Health Line | 1800 011 511

Lifeline | 13 11 14

MensLine | 1300 789 978

Beyond Blue | 1300 224 636

Kids Helpline | 1800 55 1800

Resources

National Bushfire Recovery Agency

Services Australia – How to get mental health support

Head to Health

Headspace

MindSpot