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.

2020 was a year many Australians want to forget. 2021 is shaping up to follow closely the same path. 

Feelings of loss, helplessness and guilt are common. It started in 2020 with the bushfires, schools put in place extra supports for students dealing with the aftermath. 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 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.

Immense flooding in NSW in March 2021  and again in June 2021 reminds us we are at the mercy of nature.

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.


Skip to: Local | Bushfire | Flood

Where can you go 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 for your children. Children will also be experiencing big feelings at times like this, remember to give them supports too.
  • 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 put in place extra supports for mental health. You can read about it in How to get a Mental Health Care Plan. There is also a 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.


Bushfire Recovery

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 Macquarie Hastings support is listed here.

East Gippsland information is available at Bushfire Support Information.

Towong Shire Resources can be viewed here.

The ACT supports are outlined here.


Flood Recovery

Maintaining Health during and after floods and storms Talks about floodwater pollution and how to stay safe. it covers drinking water, medications, cleaning up, and avoiding infectious diseases.

Regional Assistance through the National Drought and Flood Agency. 

Financial Assistance Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment through Services Australia.

Claims are also available on the Emergency Information Line. 

Call 180 22 66
  • Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 8 pm

Other Supports

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.