Are the bushfires affecting your mental health?

 

Bushfires that have threatened communities are highly distressing for many people.

 

Bushfires can be particularly stressful because the factors that influence their strength and direction can change at any moment. Communities that seem clear of danger can suddenly need to evacuate. Despite well-orchestrated and persistent fire fighting by emergency services personnel, sometimes destruction of life and property is unpreventable. It is common for people who have lived through these circumstances to experience strong emotions. Understanding normal responses to these abnormal events can aid you in coping effectively with your feelings, thoughts and behaviours as you or someone you know recovers from the fire.
 
But there is a lot that family, friends, volunteers and community members can do to help those affected.
 
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has put together an
 
information sheet; Click here

 

In addition, clinical psychologist, Judy Robinson has put together the below resources that may be useful.

 

Psychological First Aid after a Disaster

Red Cross Psychological First Aid Disasters
 

A story for young children about recovering from fires

Birdie’s stories; Birdie and the fire and more…
 

Kids books on Natural Disasters and Bushfires

Birdie’s Tree
 

Bush Fire Trauma Case Studies:

Early Trauma Grief Case Studies
 

Bush Fire Trauma Classroom Resources:

 
Early Trauma Grief
 
Lesson Plan Bushfires
 
Resources for Teachers: School Recovery Tool Kit
 

Bush Fire Trauma Resources for Parents and Professionals:

 
Disasters: Bushfire Resources
 

Trauma fact Sheets and Worksheets

Phoenix Australia Recovery Fact Sheets and Booklets
 
 

Additional resources

 
What Happened to MY World
 
 
Listen, Protect and Connect: Psychological First Aid
 
 
Additional Medicare Rebates and Government Free services available: Bushfire Recovery Access Program
 
 

How to donate to Australia’s bushfire relief effort:

 
The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) noted that while there are many ways you can help, the best way is to donate money as it allows people to buy the things they need, and it supports local businesses which have also been impacted.
 
Here are 8 organisations you can donate money to:
 
Australian Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief
 
Country Fire Authority (CFA), Victoria
 
NSW Rural Fire Service
 
Salvation Army Disaster Appeal
 
St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal (NSW)
 
The Victorian Bushfire Appeal
 
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
 
WIRES