On this page:
- Head to Health portal
- Online services
- Online resources
- Support from Fortem Australia
- Other types of support
Not feeling like yourself after a natural 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:
Beyond Blue web chat (3pm-midnight AEST)
Headspace eheadspace support (12-15 year olds) (9am to 1am AEST)
Lifeline Chatlink (7pm-midnight AEST)
SANE Australia web chat (10am-10pm AEST Monday-Friday)
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.
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:
In VIC call 1800 560 760
In SA call 1800 302 787
In NSW call 13 77 88
In ACT call 13 22 81
In WA call the Mental Health Emergency Response Line (MHERL)
1300 555 788 (Perth)
1800 676 822 (Peel region)
In NT call 1800 682 288
In QLD call 1300 642 255
In TAS call the Mental Health Helpline (24 hrs) on 1800 332 388