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Bushfire Mental Health Support

Thursday 7 January 2020

Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) is encouraging anyone who has been impacted by the bushfires to prioritise their emotional wellbeing as well as that of people around them.

In a disaster such as the current fires, people may feel distressed, overwhelmed, sad, angry, afraid and grieve at what has been lost. They may have difficulty coping with those emotions.

Listen to Alison Thorne, MLHD Community Mental Health & Drug & Alcohol Manager here.

People impacted by the fires are likely to worry a lot more than usual and have trouble concentrating and making decisions. Supportive counselling is available for people directly impacted by the fires.

Free face-to-face support

If you are struggling and currently located in Tumut or Wagga Wagga, there is someone you can talk to.

You don’t need an appointment, just drop in and say you need to talk to a counsellor.

MLHD has increased the amount of counsellors available on site in Tumut and Wagga Wagga.

Free face to face supportive counselling is available 7 days a week. 

  • Tumut Regional Family Services 182 Wynyard Street: 9am - 5pm
  • Wagga Wagga Disaster Assistance Centre Equex Centre, Corner Kooringal Road and Copland Street: 9am - 5pm.

Free Telephone support

If you are not located in either of these communities, you can still get assistance by calling the Murrumbidgee Local Health District AccessLine on 1800 800 944 and let them know you have been affected by the bushfires and need to talk to a counsellor.

They will arrange for you to be contacted by someone from your local Health team.

Where to get help

In an emergency or if you or someone else is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000) or go to your nearest hospital Emergency Department.

People can be at an increased risk of developing anxiety and depression after a traumatic event, but it’s important to know that help is available.

Other Support Services 

  • Murrumbidgee AccessLine 1800 800 944 provides 24 hour/7 day per week support, advice and referral to mental health and drug and alcohol services. Carers, other health professionals and emergency workers can also use AccessLine for advice about a person’s clinical symptoms, their need for care and local treatment options.
  • Call Lifeline on 13 11 14, 24/7; or text 0477 13 11 14 between 6pm and midnight.
  • Beyondblue Support Service via telephone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or online chat (3pm–12am AEST) or email responses (within 24 hours).

Online materials available at Australian Government Department of Health's Head to Health; and Australian Red Cross' resources here.

A full listing of support numbers can be found here

Last updated: 11 January 2020