Mental health and wellbeing after the bushfires
Check in at the recovery centre
- There are many services available to assist you and your family.
- DHHS staff at the bushfire recovery centre in Bunyip are offering support and coordinating emergency relief payments to anyone who is experiencing hardship as a result of the fires.
What to expect
It is normal for a distressing or frightening event to affect you physically, mentally and emotionally.
Remember, any event that that includes loss, danger and fear results in the body going into a state of heightened arousal. This ‘emergency mode’ involves a series of internal alarms being turned on.
Emergency mode gives people the access to a lot of energy in a short period of time to maximise the chance of survival.
Most people only stay in emergency mode for a short period of time or until the immediate threat has passed. Being in emergency mode uses a lot of energy and people often feel deep exhaustion afterwards.
Look out for others and if you need help, seek help. You might find talking to friends and family useful, or talk with your GP.
Dealing with trauma
It may be a good idea to see a counsellor or psychologist to help you process your experience.
- Australian Psychological Society Referral Service: Call 1800 333 497
- Information on trauma reaction and recovery: Go to the Better Health website
- Lifeline: 131 114 24-hour telephone counselling, information and referral service.
- BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636 Provides information on depression and anxiety. To access professional counselling services, please make contact with your GP and ask for a referral.
- Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800 Confidential telephone counselling service for young people aged 5–25 years.
- Headspace: 1800 650 890
- ParentLine: 132 289 Counselling and information for families with children (up to 18 years) from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week.
- Men’s Line Australia: 1300 789 978 24–hour counselling and advice for men.
- Safe Steps Family Violence Support: 1800 015 188
- Family Violence support: There is an increased risk of family violence after an emergency. Help is available by calling 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732 - confidential) or go to the Family Violence Victoria website