Bushfires affect people in the community differently, depending on the stress or loss you or your loved ones have experienced.
Luckily, there are things you can do to take care of yourself and your emotional wellbeing, or that of someone you care about.
Individuals may experience many different emotional and physical reactions following an extraordinary event. Some common reactions can include feeling overwhelmed, tearfulness, sleep problems and a lack of concentration or difficulty focusing. In most cases these reactions will fade over the following weeks.
However, if at any time these reactions are seriously affecting daily activities, or last for more than four weeks, it's important for you or someone you care about to speak to a doctor about the support options available. You can also find some options below.
Local support services
- Grand Pacific Health (GPH): call the intake line on 1800 228 987 to find out about free mental health support for people impacted by bushfires.
- headspace: a free service for 12-25 year olds
- Nowra – (02) 4421 5388
- Wollongong – (02) 4220 7660
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has developed some handy resources to help you take care of yourself and others.
- Useful skills for disaster recovery: Managing emotional distress
- Helping children who have been affected by bushfires - Information for parents
- Lifeline - 13 11 14 lifeline.org.au
- 24 hour Mental Health Line - 1800 011 511
- Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636 beyondblue.org.au
- MensLine - 1300 789 978 mensline.org.au
- Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 kidshelpline.com.au
- QLife - 1800 184 527 qlife.org.au
- GriefLine - 1300 845 745 griefline.org.au
- Disaster Welfare Assistance Line - 1800 018 444
- Housing Contact Centre - 1800 422 322 facs.nsw.gov.au/about/contact
- Law Access NSW Disaster Response Hotline - 1800 801 529
- Find support during the bushfires
- Find support for yourself and others during the holidays
- Services for people experiencing homelessness during the holidays
- Applications now open for Innovation Research Grants!
- Development of the NSW LGBTI Health Strategy
- Help us spread the word about suicide prevention
- Have you seen our new Evaluation video?
- Launch of the Collaborative's first Report Card
- Free local suicide prevention training
- Illawarra Mercury receives national media award for 'Care to QPR' campaign
- Join us for the Collaborative's R U OK? Day event!
- Funded placements are still available for health professionals to attend Recovery Camp!
- The power of people with lived experience working together
- Help us spread the word about help available in our region!
- Collaborative sums up successes with new Progress Report!
- Raising awareness for suicide prevention at ‘Battle of the Countries’
- The Productivity Commission has released an issues paper
- Tim Heffernan and Toni Garretty among new Deputy Commissioners for mental health
- Check in with family and friends during the festive season
- Young people donate to support local suicide prevention efforts