Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the resilience of people in
regional communities is well known, but no one should feel like they need to go
it alone in the coming days, weeks, or months.
“My message to the brave people in fire ravaged communities like those of
Northern NSW, the Mid-North Coast and the Hunter is to reach out for help and
tap into the counselling and mental health services available on the ground,”
Mrs Taylor said.
“The widespread loss and distress caused by a major event such as this
impacts the whole the community, and those affected need support now and in the
“Disaster Welfare Services, including
counselling support, are currently being provided at 21 Evacuation Centres across
NSW Chief Psychiatrist, Dr Murray Wright, said many people, including
those who are usually healthy and strong, may be experiencing sadness, sleep
disturbance, fear or anxiety.
“This is a very normal reaction, and may be experienced
immediately or sometimes much later,”
Dr Wright said.
Anyone experiencing persistent issues impacting their day-to-day lives are encouraged to talk to their
General Practitioner or regular health care provider.
The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP),
which operates across rural and
remote NSW, has coordinators in fire affected areas working directly with
communities, providing on the ground
support, connecting people to support and assistance and
visiting evacuation centres daily.
To contact your local RAMHP
Coordinator go to https://www.ramhp.com.au/ and type
in your postcode.
To contact your local mental health service call the NSW Mental
Health Line on 1800 011 511. Alternatively you can call Lifeline on 131114. For practical assistance call the
Disaster Welfare Assistance Line 1800 018 444.
In 2019–20 the NSW Government is investing a record $2.2 million into
services and infrastructure for people living with mental illness, and their
families and carers.