Beyond Blue CEO Kate Carnell AO has today reminded people affected by bushfires across Australia that they can immediately access resources for support.
As Victoria, NSW and much of South Australia endure another day of total fire bans, Ms Carnell said people could access an easy-to-use information card and booklet from www.beyondblue.org.au
to help deal with the wide range of emotions associated with living through a natural disaster.
Ms Carnell said while the stress of experiencing something such as a bushfire left people at a higher risk of developing depression or anxiety, the resources would help them avoid this.
“Many Australians are today either starting on the long road to recovery after losing their home, property or business in recent bushfires or living with the threat of fire,” she said.
“Both these situations can be incredibly stressful and can have a unique emotional impact, which can lead to people facing an increased risk of experiencing depression or anxiety.
“But as people across the country deal with the bushfires and the subsequent impact on their mental health, they need to know they are not alone.
“Help is at hand with these resources, which contain detailed advice on dealing with emotions such as grief and what to do if the distress persists.
“If people have good information there is a lot they can do to help themselves.
“Also included in the resources is information for family and friends on how they can help someone who is affected by a natural disaster.
“Everyone who is affected by the fires, or anyone who has a family or friend who are affected, should download these resources to help ensure people and communities make a full recovery.”
The resources were developed in the aftermath of the 2009 Victorian bushfires and updated after Cyclone Yasi struck Queensland in 2011.
They have been developed by
Beyond Blue in association with the Australian Red Cross, the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement.
To download the Emotional responses after a natural disaster information card or Looking after yourself after a disaster booklet visit www.beyondblue.org.au
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