Following the devastating bushfires on the NSW South Coast, the Australian Government and Lifeline are providing mental health support for individuals, families and emergency service workers affected by the bushfires.
Assistance provided by the Australian Government
You can get up to 10 free counselling sessions if you were affected by the bushfires to support you through the immediate trauma and crisis. To access these free sessions, call 1800 228 987 or speak to the social workers at:
- Mobile Service Centres and Mobile Servicing Teams
- Recovery Centres and Disaster Welfare Assistance Points
- Mental Health services commissioned by Primary Health Networks.
If you need additional support, you are able to access 10 additional face-to-face or telehealth mental health treatment services at no cost.
All individuals, families and emergency service workers affected by the bushfires are eligible.
You do not need to have a diagnosed mental health condition, a GP referral or a mental health treatment plan.
You can access the sessions between 17 January 2020 and 31 December 2021.
If you live in a rural or remote area, you will be able to access counselling and support through video telehealth services.
Further information is available on the NSW Health website.
Assistance provided by Lifeline
Lifeline has launched a 24-hours, seven-day-a-week bushfire recovery helpline to support the thousands of Australians affected by the recent bushfires. The Helpline will provide specialised bushfire assistance to anyone who is affected. To access this service call 13 4357.
Assistance offered by Coordinare - South Eastern NSW PHN
Coordinare - South Eastern NSW PHN has announced a new counselling service for people impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires to be delivered by CatholicCare. The service offers general counselling and psychological support and is available to anyone experiencing concern or distress as a result of the 2019-20 bushfires.
The program will be provided free of charge within the Shoalhaven and Southern NSW. Support sessions will be accessible in various ways, including face-to-face (if possible and safe to do so), via telehealth, telephone and on-line services so community members have a choice in how they are supported.
To find out more information or to make an appointment, visit the CatholicCare website or call 1800 068 698.
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.