Isaac Smith and James Bennett-Levy at the launch of the 'After the Flood' survey at Lismore Quadrangle on Wednesday September 27.
Isaac Smith and James Bennett-Levy at the launch of the 'After the Flood' survey at Lismore Quadrangle on Wednesday September 27. Samantha Poate

'After the Flood' survey launched

AS PART of the March 31 flood recovery process, the University Centre for Rural Health has launched a survey to gauge mental health in the region.

Speaking at the launch in Lismore on Wednesday, the university's professor of mental health and psychological wellbeing James Bennett-Levy said it was important to check up on the mental wellbeing of the community following the flood, to find the best ways to assist their recovery process.

"A lot of people have really done it hard and there have been extraordinary stories both of awful things happening to people and extraordinary stories of resilience, of volunteering and support," Prof Bennett-Levy said.

"We have very little idea about mental health and psychological wellbeing of the community, and that's what we really need to find out about and we need to know that for resources in terms of what the community might need and we need to know it in terms of future planning as well."

Former Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said it was extremely important for everyone to complete the survey and not just those directly affected by the flood.

"It's not just for Lismore - it's (for) across the Northern Rivers," Ms Dowell said. "The ripples from this flood event go far and wide so we want as many people as possible to fill it out."

She said the more information provided, the better the survey results would be to help not just the Lismore community in the future but others who were affected by major events as well.

"If there is a question in the survey that you find too uncomfortable for you to answer, you don't have to answer it," Ms Dowell said.

"There is room in the survey to fill out a bit of a dialogue about some experiences (and) there is room for you to expand if you don't think a question actually captures your response well enough."

People aged 16 years and over can complete the survey, which is open to all residents regardless of whether their property was flooded or not in the Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tweed, Ballina, Byron and Kyogle local government areas.

You can access the survey online via the University Centre for Rural Health Facebook page and website, or source a hard copy from the university at 61 Uralba St, Lismore.

Don't miss the Flood Recovery feature in The Weekend Star tomorrow.



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