Bushfire Mental Health Recovery Package

Ethan Frenchcommunity alerts

In response to the bushfire emergency, the Australian Government has announced a comprehensive bushfire recovery package. As part of this package it is providing $76 million for immediate, short term and medium term mental health support for individuals, families and communities, including emergency services personnel, impacted by the ongoing bushfire emergency. The Government is committed to supporting the mental health of Australians affected by bushfires and is prioritising the provision of mental health support to individuals, families and communities as they recover.

The Mental Health Response to Bushfire Trauma package will ensure people have access to coordinated and tailored support they need to recover from the distress and impact on their mental health and wellbeing at this time and also into the future.

The following measures will be implemented immediately:

  • frontline emergency distress and trauma counselling through Primary Health Networks;
  • trauma informed care training for emergency service personnel;
  • trauma informed personnel management for employers of emergency service personnel;
  • bushfire trauma response coordinators who will be engaged by Primary Health Networks; and
  • expansion of Telehealth support.

Further measures that will be provided in the short to medium term include:

  • sustained care through additional MBS services available from 17 January 2020;
  • support for youth through headspace;
  • trauma care services to emergency service workers and their immediate families;
  • pilot program to provide a support and mental health literacy network for emergency services workers and their families/kinship groups;
  • a national cross-services framework for responding to national disasters;
  • support tailored to community needs; and
  • community connectedness and recovery grants through Primary Health Networks.

Further details about the Mental Health Response to Bushfire Trauma is provided in the attached fact sheets. If you require any further information please contact psychologicalservices@health.gov.au