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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Coping with bushfires

Topic: Coping with bushfires

  1. monkey_magic
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    23 January 2020 in reply to Lady Nova
    Hi Lady Nova,

    I'm very sorry to hear that you are hurting. It's horrible isn't it. Fires starting up again. Where I am we are affected by the smoke. Saw some blue skies but now it's grey all over again.
    Sorry to also hear of the loss of your friends house. I can't wait for summer to shoosh off...it's been terrifying.

    It's ok to let it all out and I'm glad to hear of your partners support of you. Hope things get easier soon.
    1 person found this helpful
  2. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    12344 posts
    23 January 2020 in reply to Lady Nova

    LadyNova,

    think the fact the fire season is not over by any means can be scary. I have moved away to family but images are all over the news. My step daughters family has been evacuated once and now in danger again.

    We must get all the support we can.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Lady Nova
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    117 posts
    23 January 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Speaking of support. Anyone in a declared bush fire disaster area can get a referral for a bush fire mental health care plan. If you already have a therapist they can claim it, 10 sessions, for you.

    Do not suffer in silence. See your therapist or GP to access this support in our time of community tragedy and grief

    5 people found this helpful
  4. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    24 January 2020 in reply to Lady Nova

    there are supposedly lots of these mental health plans, but maybe I am in the wrong area as no one seems to know about them.

    I think the sound a great idea but maybe the doctors and therapists need to be told first.

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  5. blondguy
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    24 January 2020 in reply to Lady Nova

    I hope you can find some peace of mind by having some frequent face to face time with a GP or counsellor after the horrible time you are currently experiencing Quirky...as per Lady Nova's kind post above

    My heartfelt respect and condolences to the families of the three American Firefighters from Canadian based Coulson Aviation who lost their lives fighting wildfires in the Snowy mountains NSW in their C130 water bomber that was contracted to the RFS

    take care everyone please

    Hugs

    Paul

    4 people found this helpful
  6. Lady Nova
    Lady Nova avatar
    117 posts
    25 January 2020 in reply to blondguy

    we have another two catastrophic days coming up. Tuesday, 41deg, and Saturday, 45deg, I am insure how we can cope. The South Coast is devastated, and continuing to be barraged by tragedy.

    My very good friend who is medically fragile and has been staying with us during the worst bush fire days, lost her house on Thursday as well as a collection of cars she and her late partner had built into hot rods, she is a mad hot rodder and the loss has knocked her sideways.

    The smoke still hangs in a pall over our homes, more smoke than the light rains we have had can disperse. Fear, anger, disbelief & grief seem to infect every part of the community.

    It's like any notion of a care free life has been ripped out from under us, and all is hanging in the balance of the next hot day, or next harsh wind.

  7. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    25 January 2020 in reply to Lady Nova

    Lady Nova, I evacuated out of the soiuth coast as my children wanted me out of the area.

    My thoughts are with you. I am safe in the city but don't feel it.

    think the fact there maybe a couple more months of fires is scary.

    You are a good friend. I think we are all fragile. We are far from the south coast geographically but not emotionally.

    I agree with Paul all people who have given their life in bushfires whether as fire fighters or as pilots are real heroes and super huiman beings.

  8. Hanna3
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    3212 posts
    25 January 2020 in reply to Lady Nova
    Lady Nova (and others) it sounds terrible. We've had months of thick smoke and ash as well as dust storms from the drought but haven't been impacted like you have although we are not far from one of the worst megafires. Watching the news has been horrifying. Everyone is shocked beyond words. My grandmother used to live on the south coast in a little weatherboard cottage with mountains behind, the sea below, and bush everywhere. In all the decades they lived there they never had bushfires. I can hardly believe where she lived - and where I have such happy childhood memories of - is all burned. I feel so wretched for the whole country and everyone and everything impacted by it all. I have people contacting me from the UK and America asking about it all... everyone cares so much. I'm so, so sorry you're all going through such terrible times.
  9. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    12344 posts
    25 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    hanna,

    Everyone is experiencing the fires either directly or indirectly. The weather is un predictable.

    In three days one city had a hail storm , wind and rain and fires.

    We all need to be patient and to care,

    Sometimes I cry in supermarkets or cry on the phone.

    Quirky.

  10. Peppermintbach
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    26 January 2020

    Hi everyone,

    Hugs to anyone who might need one.

    I know so many of you have lost homes and businesses, friends/family/community members have lost their homes, business/trade has been affected, fear, daily uncertainly and trauma...

    I know there’s nothing that I can say here to help, but if nothing else, here is a hug for some very small comfort...it’s okay to cry if you need, talk about it or not talk about it...whatever you need.

    Thinking of you all xoxo

    2 people found this helpful
  11. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    12344 posts
    28 January 2020 in reply to Peppermintbach

    peppermint and everyone

    Sometimes not talking and listening is the best thing one can do.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Peppermintbach
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    28 January 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky (& a wave to all),

    Okay, I’m listening...

    Hugs...

    Pepper xoxo

  13. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    12344 posts
    31 January 2020 in reply to Guest_6465

    As someone who has lost their home and more I find getting upset and angry about things beyond my control to be not helpful.

    I am just trying cope with each day,

    I respect your right to express your views,

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Lady Nova
    Lady Nova avatar
    117 posts
    31 January 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    another bad day tomorrow is predicted and ACT is in a state of emergency.

    How long will we find this drama and anxiety to be our norm?

    Fire season will really start in February

  15. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    1 February 2020 in reply to Lady Nova

    Lady Nova,

    the fire season could last to april with everyone needing to be vigilant.

    I hope you are coping Lady Nova.

  16. Lady Nova
    Lady Nova avatar
    117 posts
    3 February 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    some days better than others. Having my son back at school and starting the day with his routine is helping ground me. I can't let his routine fail, because his autism depends so much on it to help make a good start to every day. I am finding this rigidity somewhat soothing for some reason.

    I finally got the super fund to accept financial distress so hopefully now I can get a used car and make the initial payment on the home mods we have been fighting for for 5 years now.

    I have to assume we don't qualify for any bush fire funding even though when I applied smoke damage was accepted, the rules changed. Now I have to find a contractor to clean all the ash and debris from my gutters and solar panels as well as slowly get through all the soft furnishings myself. I actually found some ember holes in some of the fly screens. I had a wee meltdown about that ... still not sure if I have come to terms how close it all got. We still have smoke haze here and my breathing is being affected.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
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    Nurse Jenn avatar
    436 posts
    3 February 2020

    Hi all,

    I just thought I would post the links for people to know about some of the new Medicare mental health support that has become available. If your GP/Psychologist isn't aware of the new funding rules, then you can show them these pages linked below. Sometimes it is up to us to inform the professionals. I know it doesn't seen right that this should have to occur but I know that not all health professionals are across the new funding as yet.

    https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/how-get-mental-health-support
    http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Factsheet-BushfireResponse  

    In summary, from 17 January 2020, extra mental health services, including telehealth services, are available to people whose mental health is adversely affected by a bushfire that occurred in the 2019-20 financial year. The new services are provided by eligible psychologists, GPs and medical practitioners, social workers and occupational therapists. The services are available to anyone whose mental health has been affected by the bushfire crisis, and are not restricted to people living in areas directly affected by bushfire.

    It is my understanding that these sessions may incur a gap payment or may be bulk billed at the health professionals discretion.

    If people are in financial hardship or at risk of homelessness (which many people are after the bushfires) then each local Primary Health Network where bushfires have impacted their area would likely have some type of service available as well. You can find out what PHN services your area (there are 31) by going to this site and using the locator map which will give you the contact details and webpage of your local PHN. https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/PHN-Locator

    I am happy to answer any questions I can about mental health support for people impacted by Bushfires. I am not sure I will always be able to give all the answers but I will do my very best.

    Nurse Jenn

    3 people found this helpful
  18. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    12344 posts
    11 February 2020 in reply to Nurse Jenn

    Nurse Jenn

    Thanks for your helpful information.

    My trouble is with all the red tape and being asked for documents I don't have as they have been burnt.

    There are too many hoop to try to get through to get the help I want.
    quirky

  19. Elizabeth CP
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    11 February 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    Quirky, My psych told me that he could get the extra sessions & he asked his receptionist to find out the process online so I didn't have to do anything. I hadn't even asked for this. He decided I needed the extra help & qualified because the fires had triggered my PTSD even though I wasn't there. I would just ask the MH professional you are seeing to arrange this for you. No referral is required. Good luck.I hope you are able to find someone who suits you & can really help you deal with what has happened. Sorry I haven't been able to post much support for you.I often think of you but my mental state is n't good at the moment so I'm having to be careful what I say or read to avoid making myself worse
  20. Ackie
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    1 posts
    18 February 2020 in reply to Lady Nova
    I know I have not been ok. Evacuated three times from our place and once from my in-laws. We have our home still but it is so different now and our family has been impacted from Bega, Nowra, BBay and Eden. Smoke inhalation has been an interesting affliction and still they burn even after rain. Today I broke. Thank you Beyond Blue.
    1 person found this helpful
  21. blondguy
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    19 February 2020 in reply to Ackie

    Hello Ackie

    sharing your pain is tough to do Ackie...You are very strong....If you wish to talk...we are here and listening...even if you want to discuss the smoke inhalation you are always welcome

    Bega, Nowra and Eden are a beautiful part of our country albeit a different place now

    my kind thoughts and respect....Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  22. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    12344 posts
    19 February 2020 in reply to Ackie

    Ackie

    Welcome to the forum.

    Thanks for sharing your experience on this post. I came from a small village near some of the places you mentioned. I lost a lot and have moved to the city. It is hard being around people who don't understand .

    Feel free to post here as often as you like. I have not been back since the beginning of Jan and not sure I can go back. I miss my friends.

    I keep writing as people are so supportive here.

    Take care Ackie

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  23. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    6 March 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello everyone,

    I was wondering how everyone is going. Now corona is in the news people seem to have forgotten the fire.

    There are many like me who cant forget.

    I have a friend who was evacuated 3 times live in fear for weeks and now cant leave the house.

    this is a safe place to be honest and share.

    However you are feeling, feel free to post here.There is support.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Birdy77
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    20 March 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    Thank you so much for your post Quirky.

    I know you can't forget.

    I haven't forgotten either.

    You are not alone, we who lived through the terror will never forget.

    I know you have lost so much, and it must be difficult to know where to start to rebuild your lives.

    I drive through the fireground a couple of weeks ago, needed to get to Moruya for an appointment. It was a somber journey i am sure you lnkw what i mean.

    I have felt it's so difficult to get back to "normal" (whatever that is) since what we went through over the summer.

    I am trying, but it's slow progress.

    I am finding it hard to leave the house unless i need to.

    Comes in handy with the caronavirus i guess?!

    Wishing wellness for you and all.

    🌻birdy

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Doolhof
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    20 March 2020 in reply to Birdy77

    Dear Birdy, Quirky and All,

    My thoughts are with you as you continue to live with the trauma of the bushfires.

    I can't say I understand as I have not been in your shoes, but I do care.

    On Facebook I see photos of the region I grew up in which has been devastated by fires. That affects me.

    For you to drive through or see areas that were once home to you and how you must feel, I can't comprehend.

    When we are experiencing trauma, depression, mental health issues, confusion or are just plan stuck and don't know what to do, it can be hard to see the world move on.

    Please know people do care. I care for you all. I don't know how to respond to your hurt.

    You are in my thoughts, kindest regards from Dools

    2 people found this helpful
  26. Birdy77
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    20 March 2020 in reply to Doolhof
    You are a really beautiful and special person Dools.
    1 person found this helpful
  27. Doolhof
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    20 March 2020 in reply to Birdy77

    Thank you Birdy, I appreciate your kind words.

    There have been many times where yourself and others have been of invaluable support to me.

    I am so very appreciative of the care, help and assistance I have received here. I sometimes wonder how I would have managed without the support I have received.

    Hugs to you. At least the virtual hugs are safe!

    2 people found this helpful
  28. Peppermintbach
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    20 March 2020

    Hi Quirky, Dools, lovely birdy & all,

    I think Dools has written such a loving, tender, & compassionate response that I don’t really have much to add.

    She’s right, you’re cared for, appreciated and valued here.

    We are listening if you ever want to unload any feelings here...

    Warm hugs to anyone who likes them xoxo

    2 people found this helpful
  29. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    20 March 2020 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Thanks Dools, pepper , Indy and everyone reading,

    it is a strange year.

    i have compassion for businesses affected by the corona. IRC’s, people who are unemployed, people who maybe homeless.

    i have compassion for everyone.

    quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Elizabeth CP
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    20 March 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    I think it is hard for people to understand what it is like unless you have been directly affected by the fires & then each person will react differently. This means people are so focused on Corona Virus they forget about the fires & their impact. I hope you are getting the support you need Quirky during this difficult time.
    1 person found this helpful

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