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 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 MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND TRAINING

View a list of all COORDINARE's commissioned mental health and suicide prevention programs here.

Community members wanting to support others experiencing difficulty and emotional stress, can register for FREE one day accidental counsellor workshops in Eden, Moruya, Milton Ulladulla and Nowra. Find out more on this flyer.

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CALL AN EXISTING HELPLINE

  • If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000 or visit your nearest emergency department.
  • 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 Australia: 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 in bushfire-affected areas can access Farm Gate counsellors and peer support workers.
  • GriefLine: 1300 845 745 griefline.org.au
  • QLife: 1800 184 527 qlife.org.au

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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.