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HealthWISE supporting communities to Recover, Adapt, Connect

Since 2022, HealthWISE have been proudly delivering their Recover, Adapt, Connect program (the Program) to support communities and individuals affected by disasters.

HealthWISE received $3.6 million through the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery (BSBR) grants program, supported by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The BSBR grants program has provided $390.9 million in funding to support affected communities in their recovery and future resilience since the 2019-20 bushfires.


HealthWISE helping to build community resilience

The Program has engaged with communities in rural and regional north western New South Wales and southern Queensland to identify gaps and develop local solutions to supporting health and psychological preparedness.

Providing access to mental health and allied health services and community education workshops, the Program aims to prepare communities for disasters by encouraging individuals to look after their physical and psychological health and having emergency plans in place to guide them through disasters.

“We know that people who are psychologically prepared feel more confident, more in control when a disaster threatens and they are better able to make and carry out emergency plans and to follow warnings and directions.” said Anne Williams, Integrated Care Manager, HealthWISE.

“Recovery is assisted when people are psychologically prepared. They understand that natural reactions such as anxiety and worry are expected, and they can remain in control and act confidently.”  


Recover, Adapt, Connect Features at the Rural Health Leaders Conference

The Program featured at the Rural Health Leaders conference held in Sydney on 24 November 2023. Anne Williams, Integrated Care Manager at HealthWISE presented to rural health leaders from across NSW.

The session featured HealthWISE’s innovative models of care and the interest in the approach to disaster preparedness was strong.

“It was pleasing to receive such great feedback from our peers in rural health for this extraordinary program,” said Anne.

“It is wonderful to see this ongoing approach to building resilience in our communities since the Black Summer bushfires. It’s important that programs like this exist to ensure individuals and communities are well positioned to respond to future disasters,” Said Sophie Cartwright, Assistant Coordinator General, Resilience and Community Programs.

See Black Summer Bushfire Recovery grants program for further information about the program and a full list of successful applicants.