Bushfires can have a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of affected communities and individuals.
If you require immediate support, contact:
- In an emergency Triple 000 (Ambulance, Fire, Police)
- Mental Health Line - 1800 011 511 (24 hours, 7 Days)
- Lifeline - 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636
- Kids Helpline - 1800 551 800 (for children under 12 years)
- Suicide Helpline - 1300 651 251
- Your nearest hospital emergency department.
The stress of experiencing something such as a bushfire can leave people at a higher risk of developing depression or anxiety, even if they are not directly dealing with loss of property and/or possessions.
The PHN has developed region specific information for community members that have been affected by the bushfires and are seeking emotional support.
Bushfire Recovery Information for the Central Coast region
Bushfire Recovery Information for the Hunter region
Bushfire Recovery Information for the Manning region
Bushfire Recovery Information for the New England region
To help recovery and build community resilience the PHN has funded a number of programs such as the Support the Supporters program.
Programs like Support the Supporters increase capacity in the community and recognise that recovery is an iterative process and it evolves. Recovery is a complex social process that cannot be predicted, controlled or rigidly planned.
Community members in bushfire affected communities interested in exploring how the same or similar programs could be implemented in their communities are encouraged to contact one of the PHN’s Bushfire Coordinators.
As part of the recovery process the PHN funded a number of Bushfire Community Recovery Grants. The grants have supported grass roots community groups to conduct activities that have helped strengthen community connectedness, build peer support and promote mental wellbeing and healing after the bushfires.
Support for GPs and health professionals
The PHN recommends that all primary health care clinicians utilise its HealthPathways sites as a centralised and single source of up to date information and clinical advice on helping patients who have experienced a natural disaster such as bushfire. HealthPathways has dedicated pages for Bushfire support services, burn injuries, general practice management during a disaster and post natural disaster health care.