The NSW Government will fast-track access to essential trauma and recovery services to communities hardest hit by the recent flooding in NSW as part of a $25 million investment.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said this package will provide mental health support to people in flood-affected communities across the State to help them get through the recovery as they begin to rebuild.
"Providing immediate mental health and well-being support in recovery centres to people devastated by the floods to help them get back on their feet as soon as possible,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This commitment will ensure we put people in touch with the right support so they can get the help they need now and into the future.”
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the investment will have an initial focus on communities across the Northern Rivers, with other areas likely to be included as the full impact of the floods becomes clearer.
“The task before us is complex and extensive. People’s mental health will not only be affected by the floods but by the enormity of the clean-up effort and the uncertainty it brings,” Mr Toole said.
“To ensure the mental health recovery effort is as coordinated, responsive and targeted as possible, we’ll work with Headspace and Lifeline to manage the response, with local input sourced from the community and local health networks.”
NSW Health will support the immediate mental health needs of the Northern NSW community by deploying mental health clinicians from Northern NSW, Mid North Coast and Northern Sydney Local Health Districts.
Teams from Hunter New England and Western NSW Local Health Districts are also being prepared to travel to northern NSW to assist.
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said $5 million in grants will be allocated to non-government organisations to deliver local trauma and recovery programs so support is available long after the clean-up has finished.
“It is locals who know their community best, and that is why we want them to play an active role in developing initiatives and programs that will help their communities in their road to recovery,” Mrs Taylor said.
“We are also funding ten full-time Local Recovery Coordinators to be our eyes and ears on the ground to monitor the local mental health impacts, as well as help services better connect with people most in need.”
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the devastating floods will have a lasting impact on affected communities, and the emergency services personnel who responded.
“Please take care of yourselves and look out for each other because the impacts of this devastating flood and the ongoing cleanup efforts will be felt by those affected for weeks, months and in the years ahead,” Ms Cooke said.
Key highlights of the Wellbeing Package include:
The NSW Government's initial $25 million in mental health support will also be complimented by the Commonwealth Government's mental health support package announced earlier this week.
If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services: