Mental health support for bush fire affected communities
Major events such as the current NSW bush fires that cause widespread loss and distress impact the whole community. People recovering from bush fires are being encouraged to access mental health and counselling services.
The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program has coordinators in bush fire affected areas working directly with communities and visiting evacuation centres. They are providing on the ground support, connecting people to support and assistance.
Disaster welfare services, including counselling support, are currently being provided at 21 evacuation centres across the state.
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the resilience of people in regional communities is well known, but no one should feel like they need to go it alone in the coming days, weeks, or months.
“My message to the brave people in fire-ravaged communities like those of Northern NSW, the Mid-North Coast and the Hunter is to reach out for help and tap into the counselling and mental health services available on the ground,” Mrs Taylor said.
NSW Chief Psychiatrist, Dr Murray Wright, said many people, including those who are usually healthy and strong, may be experiencing sadness, sleep disturbance, fear or anxiety.
Anyone experiencing persistent issues impacting their day-to-day lives are encouraged to talk to their GP or regular health care provider.
Mental health services
- Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
- Lifeline - 13 11 14
- Mensline - 1300 789 978
- Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
- Beyondblue - 1300 22 4636