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 and there are links below to supports that may help you during this time.
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.
You can keep up to date during a disaster via ABC Radio, check NSW Transport Live Traffic if planning travel, download the Fires Near Me app or visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website, and regularly check the NSW State Emergency Service website.
The Office of Emergency Management has recently released a Bushfire Recovery Assistance guide for people impacted by bushfires. They also provide disaster relief grants to eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed by a disaster. Find out more here.
When you are experiencing stress or worry, or feeling overwhelmed, it can help to talk about what you are going through.
Talking to people you trust can be a good source of support. If you are not comfortable doing this, there are other people that can help including your doctor.
Your doctor will also be able to advise you about online therapies and self-help options available near you.
The Clevertar app is an evidence-based approach to making positive changes in your life. If you're experiencing worries or low mood, this 12-week tailored program can help you improve how you feel.
Choose an avatar to gently guide you through the program and check in to see how you're going. Watch an introductory video here and to get started:
Provided by the Australian Government Department of Health, Head to Health can help you find digital mental health services from some of Australia’s most trusted mental health organisations.
If you’re trying to improve your own mental health, or support somebody else with mental health issues, Head to Health brings together apps, online programs, online forums, phone supports, and treatment options as well as a range of digital information resources.
Visit https://headtohealth.gov.au to find out more.
For more helplines, click here.
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