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National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework

Supporting the wellbeing of all Australians in times of disaster through the National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework 

Disaster risk is increasing, and more communities are being negatively impacted by concurrent and compounding events. This is affecting individuals’ resilience and their ability to cope. Mental health for people in impacted communities and emergency service workers is a priority.

The Australian Government has released the National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework in the context of the 2023-24 Budget, which NEMA will now work with its Commonwealth, State and Territory counterparts to implement.

The Australian Government is also providing $7.2 million to the Department of Health and Aged Care to enable the Black Dog Institute and the Australian Psychological Society to continue its critical support to disaster-affected communities and frontline workers while the Framework is progressed.


Mental health needs are complex, and support at the individual and community levels is often needed during the social recovery from disasters.

Mental health support during a disaster needs a collaborative and well-coordinated approach by all recovery partners, including local, state and federal governments in conjunction with community and professional organisations.

Evidence indicates psychological prevention and preparedness strategies can lessen the toll of major disasters on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework

The National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework provides guidance to recovery workers to support disaster-affected communities’ mental health and wellbeing.

The Framework guides governments, communities and multisector recovery partners to work together towards the same goals, using the same language, in a coordinated and consistent manner.

It includes:

  • guiding principles in how to effectively provide mental health support and services
  • roles and responsibilities between levels of government and the private/non-government sector
  • key components of care