Bushfires can have a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of affected communities and individuals.
If you require immediate support, contact:
- In an emergency Triple 000 (Ambulance, Fire, Police)
- Mental Health Line - 1800 011 511 (24 hours, 7 Days)
- Lifeline - 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636
- Kids Helpline - 1800 551 800 (for children under 12 years)
- Suicide Helpline - 1300 651 251
- Your nearest hospital emergency department.
The stress of experiencing something such as a bushfire can leave people at a higher risk of developing depression or anxiety, even if they are not directly dealing with loss of property and/or possessions.
If you live in the New England, North West or Mid-Coast regions and have been affected by the bushfires, you can access free mental health coaching via the Bushfire wellbeing coaching line.
CALL 1800 010 630
between 8.30 am – 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.
No referral is needed.
Free telephone coaching services with a mental health practitioner will provide you with strategies and techniques to manage your mental health.
This service is for people experiencing mild to moderate distress or mental health concerns as a result of the recent fires. It is not a crisis service.
Mental Health Support
It is important that you look after yourself, family, neighbours and friends during the current bushfire emergency and access mental health and counselling services if required.
- Talk to your General Practitioner or regular health care provider if you are experiencing persistent issues impacting your day-to-day life.
- Call the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 to be connected to your local mental health service.
Free counselling - Bushfire Recovery Access Program
Free distress and trauma counselling sessions are available for individuals and families and emergency services personnel affected by bushfires.
Up to 10 free sessions are available through mental health services commissioned in bushfire affected regions by Primary Health Networks (PHNs).
You don’t need to have a diagnosed mental health condition, GP referral or mental health treatment plan.
The sessions can support you through the immediate trauma and crisis, through:
- advice on distress interventions
- coping strategies
- social supports
- family based psychological interventions.
You can get the sessions between 17 January 2020 and 31 December 2021.
Web-based resources for mental health support
Head to Health
Everymind - Life in Mind
Hunter New England HealthPathways provides Clinical, Support and Referral pages for clinicians to assist patients who have experienced a natural disaster.
General Health Information
Hunter New England Patientinfo has a wide range of information on numerous health conditions, including contact details for health services, pharmacies and after hours medical care.
Fire Information – NSW Rural Fire Service
Protect Yourself from Bushfire Smoke – NSW Health
Keeping Healthy During Bushfires – NSW Health
Other Health Information
Click on the headings to access online health information.
Medications - managing medications during and after bushfire (NSW Health)
Health conditions that could put you at greater risk - healthdirect
Symptom Checker - healthdirect