Many people have been directly or indirectly affected by this unprecedented bushfire crisis. If you are distressed or have survived a traumatic experience related to the bushfires, you may need extra mental health support. The Life in Mind website is a great source of relevant information, resources and tools. This information is regularly updated and can be accessed here.
Mental health support phone numbers
If you or someone you know has been affected by the bushfires there are mental health support lines you can contact.
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
- beyond blue: 1300 224 636
- MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- GriefLine: 1300 845 745
For further assistance and direct support
The Australian Government has announced immediate on-the-ground support for people directly impacted by the bushfires. You do not have to have lost your home or had other property loss to be eligible, but to be directly affected will mean you are in a disaster declared area.
Distress and trauma counselling
The Australian Government has announced a program to fund Medicare rebates for up to 10 psychological therapy sessions for individuals, families and emergency services personnel who have been directly affected by the 2019-2020 bushfires. People who cannot access face-to-face counselling can claim rebates for video consultations. A mental health treatment plan from your GP is not necessary.
To access this counselling, contact your local Bushfire Trauma and Response Coordinator; their contact details will be provided through your local PHN. Find out how to contact your local PHN.
Short term social worker support
Social workers are travelling through the fire affected areas with the Australian Government’s Mobile Services Teams and can help you with information about support payments and referrals to support services.
Find out where Mobile Service Teams, including social workers, will be. Alternatively, you can call Services Australia on 180 22 66.
Peer discussion forum
SANE Australia’s lived experience discussion forum is a place for safe, anonymous discussion. Here you can connect with a respectful, accepting community and read stories from people you can relate to. There is currently a bushfire related discussion thread on the site.