Supporting mental health recovery in the community after a disaster
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This booklet is to help support mental health recovery in the community after a disaster & provide tips
For people experiencing a normal stress and grief response who would benefit from some support to help get things back on track.
Often people will recover from disasters with the support of family, friends and other natural support systems, however, some people may need additional support to help them cope.
If you or others around you are experiencing a normal stress and grief response but would benefit from some short-term support to help get things back on track.
Psychological First Aid is based on the understanding that people affected by disasters will experience a range of early reactions that impact on their emotional wellbeing.
Psychological First is not always available. It is most commonly used in the days and weeks following the disaster; however the time frames may vary depending on the nature and impact on the community.
Psychological First Aid aims to help people affected by a disaster by:
Depending on the nature and impact of the disaster, SA Health may engage Red Cross SA to provide Psychological First Aid and pathways to care for affected communities.
Psychological First Aid can be accessed via the Relief and Recovery Centres (if established).
There are also a range of telephone and online support services available. For more information visit the resources page.
If the impacts of the disaster are feeling a bit overwhelming and you need more support, it may be helpful to talk with your GP or a mental health professional.
Speak with your GP about any concerns that you have, as early as possible. The GP will be able to help you to complete a mental health care plan which will provide access to specialist mental health services.
To find a GP in your local area visit National Health Services Directory.
Children and young people exposed to disasters will react in different ways. Some will return to their usual functioning and settle back into routines within a few weeks, however, some may need extra support to cope.
It is important to be aware of changes in a child or young person’s thinking, behaviour, level of activity, physical health or emotional state so they can be linked in with supports early.
The impact of a traumatic event and the length of time it takes to recover will be different for every child and depends on many different factors, including:
Department for Education
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
For support, information and links to appropriate services where there are significant concerns about the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
beyondblue provides online and telephone-based information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
myCompass is free online, interactive self-help program. myCompass is designed to address mild to-moderate symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression through personalised treatments delivered entirely online.
Lifeline provides online and telephone support and resources, including helpful fact sheets and information, and online self-help tools.