by Rosemary Baker - APMA Mentor Program
You don’t have to have had your home, workplace or business burnt down to be affected by bushfires.
Many of our communities around Australia have been touched by recent bushfires, whether directly or indirectly, they may have affected your home, workplace, clients, friends and family. It is important during these fires and the aftermath to take care of yourself and be mindful of what others around you might be going through.
It can be a very difficult time depending on individual experience. There can be a wide range of emotions, feeling overwhelmed, inability to focus, irritability, tearfulness, sleep disturbances, etc, which for some may last a long time.
There are a number of resources available, the Federal Government and each State has their own assistance schemes, links listed below. One particularly useful link is from Beyond Blue. They have information about what is typical to feel after going through the bushfires and when it's a good idea to chat to a GP to get additional support.
The APMA Mentor program is another resource, your Mentor may be able to help with contacts, help or just a friendly ear.
I know from my own experience living and working near to the areas affected by the 2009 Bushfires in Victoria, it was an incredibly stressful time. There was a mix of reactions from people in the community. One client, a lady in her 60’s who actually had the fire go through her property, and her son helped her save her house. She seemed to handle things really well. Whereas another client wasn’t even that near to the fires, about 20 Km away, but was very distraught by the whole experience.
This mix of emotions can be felt by the entire community and may for some be a long time after the reporters and news cameras have left. It doesn’t have to be immediate but if you think you or someone you know needs help, reach out.
Link from Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/bushfires-and-mental-health/
Victoria for East Gippsland and North East