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 if directly or indirectly affected by bushfires. Common reactions may 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. 
  • Get help lean on family and friends. 
  • Consider professional help if you don't feel some return to normal after four weeks.
  • Support children provide comfort, limit exposure to media, encourage questions.

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BUSHFIRE RECOVERY SERVICES

It can help to talk about what you’ve been through and how you’re feeling. COORDINARE funds services which provide counselling to individuals and families impacted by bushfires including:

  • CatholicCare: call 1800 068 698 or view their flyer
  • Grand Pacific Health: call 1800 228 987
  • Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Regional Health & Community Services: call Narooma 4476 2155, Bega 6492 0532 or Batemans Bay 4488 4050.

You may prefer to reach out to another of our commissioned mental health services. Details can be found here.

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NEED HELP TO NAVIGATE & ACCESS SERVICES?

The National Bushfire Recovery Agency Bushfire Recovery Connect website helps you to connect to the support you need.

Recovery Support Services can link you to your own personal recovery support worker who can help you navigate and access services and support. Call:

  • Bega Valley: 64992345
  • Eurobodalla: 44747434
  • Shoalhaven: 1800 663 863
  • Snowy Monaro: 64523450
  • Queanbeyan–Palerang: 0428 777 453

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CALL AN EXISTING HELPLINE

  • Call 000 if there is an emergency.
  • 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
  • MensLine: 1300 78 9978 www.mensline.org.au/
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 kidshelpline.com.au
  • NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511 farmers and business owners can access Farm Gate counsellors.
  • GriefLine: 1300 845 745 griefline.org.au
  • Qlife: 1800 184 527 qlife.org.au
  • Disaster Welfare Assistance Line: 1800 018 444
  • Law Access NSW Disaster Response Hotline: 1800 801 529

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NO-COST MENTAL HEALTH OPTIONS

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ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

The Local Health District has no-cost bushfire counselling:

  • In Southern NSW call 1800 011 511
  • In the Shoalhaven call 4424 7888.

Or speak to your local doctor.