A young girl with a plait in her hair and a thoughtful look on her face is hugging a teddy bear. The teddy is smiling.

January 2020 was a month many Australians want to forget. The remainder of the year has followed closely the same path. 

Feelings of loss, helplessness and guilt are common. Schools put in place extra supports for students dealing with the aftermath of the bushfire crisis. Families across the nation were touched in some way by the events that unfolded. The world stood up and took notice, and social media was rife with images of the Australian Bushfires, or maps of fire impacted areas compared with the sizes of other countries.

What followed with the Covid-19 Pandemic has sent shockwaves through us all. Victorian's placed into lockdown and the entire country feeling like the ground fell out from underneath us. Disruptions to education, job losses, and uncertainty seemed to be the foreseeable future. We watch our children and wonder how they are coping. In hopeless situations, there is still help, for ourselves, and our families. It's just a matter of starting to put the puzzle back together, with a little help.

Where can you go to for help on a local level?

  • As a start, if you work and your employer has an Employee Assistance Program or EAP, then that can be a resource you can tap into.
  • Your child's school will have counsellors and other support staff such as chaplains available. 
  • Your GP or doctor can also refer you to support services.
  • Social networks like friends and family are important too as informal supports.

The government responded with extra supports for mental health. You can read about it in How to get a Mental Health Care Plan. There is also Healthy Mind - mental health program for people with intellectual disability and tips for good mental health in Look after your mental health in the COVID-19 crisis.

Residents of the Snowy Valleys Council can view the Newsfeed at the bottom of the Snowy Valleys Bushfire Recovery page for the latest information for residents. Bulletins, Recovery Points and links to services to assist you are available on the page.

Shoalhaven residents should see Shoalhaven Bushfire Recovery.

Community Updates are available for Eurobodalla Residents.

For Bega Valley residents the local page is Bushfire Recovery Support.

Port Macquaire Hastings support is listed here.

East Gippsland information is available at Bushfire Support Information.

Towong Shire Resources can be viewed here.

In the ACT supports are outlined here.


For the bigger picture, IDEAS factsheet on National Crisis Numbers has a list of National Support lines and services available, also downloadable as a PDF pdfNational Crisis Numbers PDF

You may have coverage for Counselling sessions under your NDIS plan. Please talk to your ECEI Coordinator, LAC or NDIS planner.


Useful Links

Beyond Blue - How to support your Child's Mental Health during a disaster 
Black Dog Institute
Carers NSW
Headspace - Supporting a young person after a disaster
Lifeline - Recovering after a bushfire 
Red Cross Coping with Major Personal Crisis Booklet

IDEAS does information so you can do life.