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Mental health support for affected families, communities and first responders of Hunter Valley bus crash.

The Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) is calling upon General Practitioners, Aboriginal Medical Practitioners, mental health service providers and all involved primary care providers in the greater Hunter Region, to be prepared for an increase in need for trauma and mental health support services for family and friends of the victims, health professionals providing support and first responders who attended the incident.

Severely traumatic incidents such as the Hunter Valley bus crash, as well as cumulative trauma exposure may result in mental health disorders among responders. While full-time responders often receive mental health support through workplace programs, volunteer first responders have less access to such programs. Both groups may contact their GP or regular primary care provider for support in the immediate aftermath of an event, but also weeks or months later (1).

To support employees of General Practices and Allied Health Practices and their immediate family members (working and residing in the HNECC PHN region) the PHN is pleased to provide access to its Member Assistance Program (MAP). Employees and their immediate family members can access three free, voluntary, confidential counselling sessions.

HNECC PHN, Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis has applauded the multi-agency response, which included first responders from NSW Ambulance, NSW Police, Fire and Rescue and activation of the state-wide Trauma Network.

“We acknowledge the significant trauma our first responders witnessed and the grief being experienced in the community. Our priority is providing support to first responders, community members, and health professionals affected by this disaster. The PHN is liaising with our commissioned mental health service providers to adapt services for the first responders and affected communities as needed.”

Community Crisis Centres

The Community Crisis Centres at Singleton and Branxton have now closed. A Community Drop-In Centre staffed by senior mental health clinicians and support services will operate at Singleton Youth Venue on Monday 26 June from 9am - 6pm and again on Monday 3 July from 9am - 6pm.

NSW Reconstruction Authority resource has also developed a listing for mental health support.

The below table outlines the mental health support services available:

Community Mental Health Services Available Contact Details
Head to Health Phone intake assessment and referral service plus mental health interventions: 1800 595 212 No GP referral required
MindHealth Online and phone low-intensity counselling: 1300 029 131
Beam Health Head to Health and under 12s psychology provider: 02 4954 9333
Hunter Primary Care Psychological services: 02 4925 2259
Headspace Maitland Youth mental health service 12 – 25 years: 02 4932 1000 No GP referral required
Headspace Cessnock Youth mental health service 12 – 25 years: 02 4993 3450 No GP referral required
PHN Members Assistance Program Access to three free counselling services for employees of General Practices and Allied Health Practices and their immediate family members working and residing in the Hunter, New England and Central Coast regions. https://thephn.com.au/programs-resources/member-access-program
Lifeline 13 11 14
NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511

First Nations Mental Health Support

13 Yarn

13 Yarn is a confidential, over-the-phone, yarning opportunity with Lifeline trained ATSI crisis support officer. Call 13 92 76

iBobbly

iBobbly is confidential and free social and emotional wellbeing app for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
For more information visit https://www.blackdoginstitute.... or info@ibobbly.org.au.

HNE Health Pathways

HNE Health Pathways provide mental health comunity pathways for health professionals:

Mental Health - Community HealthPathways Hunter New England

Emergency Services Mental Health Training and Support

A range of mental health training and support services are available for emergency service and first responder personnel.
Download the service resource.

References:

(1) NSW Government. Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy For First Responder Agencies In NSW. 2023. First Responders_FINAL_WEB (1).pdf (nswmentalhealthcommission.com.au)

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