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Mental health

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Not feeling like yourself after an emergency or disaster? It can help to talk.

This page provides information about mental health and wellbeing support before, during, and after a disaster. Talking to a professional can help you process your reactions and develop healthy coping strategies.

It is normal to have strong emotional or physical reactions after a major event.

For immediate help call Lifeline’s crisis support number on 13 11 14 or their dedicated bushfire recovery line on 13 43 57.

You can also visit the Australian Government’s Head to Health portal for information and access to support services. The portal provides the most up to date advice for mental health resources across Australia.

Online chat services

It is not always easy to pick up the telephone. Many organisations also offer live web chat services for short-term support online. Access web chat support by visiting:

Online resources

The Black Dog Institute is being funded by the Australian Government to deliver self-help tools and resources to emergency service workers and their loved ones impacted by the Black Summer bushfires.

You can also visit Emerging Mindslink for helpful advice and practical strategies to help you support small children in uncertain times.

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health is also an online resource for mental health resources, services and information for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Support from Fortem Australia

Fortem Australia is being funded by the Australian Government to provide free post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health support services to:

  • emergency service workers (including volunteers who have responded to natural disasters from 2019-2021)

  • their immediate families

  • their kinship groups

Fortem is also delivering support activities to connect first responders with communities’ sharing similar experiences. These activities include events like family weekends, exercise activities, BBQs, and trivia nights.

In-person support

People can also attend a Fortem psychology support session. No referral is needed, you can learn more and organise a session by calling Fortem on 1300 33 95 94.

Sessions can be organised as an individual, couple and group. These sessions can be delivered via telehealth.

Other types of mental health support

There are many different avenues of support. Financial, emotional and community support. These can all help you toward a path to feeling better.

To find out if you are eligible for other disaster support contact your state recovery hotline: