Traumatised from fires? Free counselling available
RECENT bushfires have charred millions of hectares in Australia, taking an enormous toll on the landscape, wildlife and human population.
The federal government has stumped up an extra $76 million in funding for mental health support in bushfire-affected communities.
Individuals, families and emergency services workers can access immediate and ongoing counselling for free.
The services on offer include counselling, trauma-informed care training and care coordination.
Up to 10 sessions of frontline emergency distress and trauma counselling will be available immediately, on top of Medicare rebates for up to 10 psychological therapy sessions in a two-year period.
Services Australia also has social workers available to assist with short-term counselling, information and referrals to support services.
Headspace in Lismore is among Headspace centres in bushfire-affected areas which will receive up to $300,000 to help meet demand.
Page MP Kevin Hogan has encouraged people to reach out and get the support they need.
"This will provide people with the support they need during the extended recovery phase, when the deep impact of trauma is more likely to be felt," he said.
"We will continue to do whatever is needed to support those affected by these terrible bushfires by rebuilding communities and helping people to recover."