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
A story for young children about recovering from fires
Kids books on Natural Disasters and Bushfires
Bush Fire Trauma Case Studies:
Bush Fire Trauma Classroom Resources:
Bush Fire Trauma Resources for Parents and Professionals:
Trauma fact Sheets and Worksheets
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