Bushfire support

Bushfires affect people in the community differently, depending on the stress or loss you or your loved ones have experienced. 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. 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. There are links below to supports that may help you during this time, or you can download a useful guide here.

However, if at any time these reactions are seriously affecting your ability to participate in day to day activities, it's important to speak to your doctor about the support options available.

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TIPS TO LOOK AFTER YOURSELF

  • Allow time - to regain a sense of normality.
  • Recognise when it's getting too much - if you're feeling overwhelmed, seek extra support.
  • Talk to someone you trust - talking about your emotions can help put things into perspective.
  • Develop an action plan - decide who’s going to do what and when and write it down.
  • Take care of yourself - eat well, exercise and sleep. Try to get back to your normal routine. 
  • Consider professional help - if you don't feel some return to normal after four weeks.
  • Support children - provide comfort, limit exposure to media coverage, allow them to ask questions.

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MEDICARE BUSHFIRE RECOVERY COUNSELLING

Anyone impacted by the bushfires can access Medicare bushfire recovery counselling.

You do not need a mental health plan from a doctor or a diagnosed mental illness to obtain these services. View a list of services here.

 

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COORDINARE FUNDED NO-COST MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

  • Grand Pacific Health: face-to-face or phone counselling. Call 1800 228 987
  • Royal Far West: video counselling for 0-15 year olds and their families. Call 02 8966 8510
  • headspace: 12-25 year olds, call Bega 1800 959 844, Goulburn 02 4824 4944, Queanbeyan 02 6298 0300, Nowra 02 4446 7300 or Wollongong 02 4220 7660.
  • Digital mental health coach: 'Clevertar' is a free online mental health coach accessed by phone
    or tablet. Find out more here

View the full service list here. We will continue to update this list as services change.

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CALL AN EXISTING HELPLINE

  • Lifeline - 13 11 14 also have a dedicated bushfire recovery support line on 13 43 57 lifeline.org.au
  • Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636 beyondblue.org.au
  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 kidshelpline.com.au
  • GriefLine - 1300 845 745 griefline.org.au
  • QLife - 1800 184 527 qlife.org.au
  • NSW Mental Health Line - 1800 011 511
  • Healthdirect after-hours GP helpline - 1800 022 222
  • Call 000 in an emergency, or visit your nearest hospital emergency department for a serious illness or injury.

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OTHER NO-COST MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT OPTIONS

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OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES

COORDINARE invites local groups and organisations to apply for funding to support people in Southern NSW and the Shoalhaven to recover from the effects of the recent bushfires. Find out more about our bushfire recovery grants here.