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
- Voices of In-Sight workshop
- Suicide: there are services available to help those left behind
- Creating change through lived experience of suicide
- Loneliness is a universal yet deeply personal experience
- How conversations can make a difference
- Creating hope through action - World Suicide Prevention Day
- Safe Haven
- Open Letter: Responding to suicide in our community
- Where to go for local support over the Christmas period
- Locals bravely share their stories on video to help other people bereaved by suicide
- Australia’s first Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring System website launched
- ‘Chats for change’ are here for you!
- Push for better this October
- Join the virtual ‘Out of the Shadows’ walk!
- Local event planned to mark R U OK? Day
- Developing a local response to suicide prevention in Kiama and Gerringong
- Celebrating Wear It Purple Day for LGBTIQ+ young Australians!
- Next Steps wins grant to explore gender differences in suicide prevention
- Invitation: an opportunity for substantial change!
- Working together to deliver quality community training