Listed here are CURRENT bulletins. For archived material, go to the 2019/2020 Bushfires page.
- IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
1. Free counselling services.
Over 1000 psychologists, counsellors, social workers and other therapists throughout Australia have offered their services free of charge to assist people in recovering from the bushfire crisis. Their contact details are being compiled in a database that can be accessed via the link below – this is a work in progress, please keep an eye out for updates and streamlining of the search process.
Beyond Blue NSW – 1300 224 636
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Mensline AU – 1300 78 99 78
Headspace (Teens) – 1800 650 890
Kids Helpline (Children) – 1800 55 1800
Beyond Blue have also published a resource including common reactions to bush fire exposure, and support options for individuals as well as for parents managing children’s reactions to these experiences https://www.beyondblue.org.au/…/bushfires-and-mental-health/
Additional government services can be found here: https://www.coordinare.org.au/for-the-community/local-initiatives-and-community-support/bushfire-support
3. Accessing psychological support services under the Medical Benefits Scheme
The Medical Benefits Scheme has been expanded to give people affected by bushfires access to up to 10 psychological therapy sessions (in addition to the 10 already covered by Medicare, for people with a mental health plan). These additional services DO NOT require referral from a GP and DO NOT require a mental health plan to be in place, “patients can instead seek appointments directly from eligible mental health professionals”. For more information, see:
- DONATIONS – Scroll down for information on fund raising for a critical response kit for the Red Head Villages.
Volunteers and army reservists backloading donated goods, Thursday 16 January 2020.