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Australian Bushfires - Trauma

Posted on 8 January 2020

Health experts say fear and worry 'normal' as country responds to bushfire crisis


BY MEDICAL REPORTER SOPHIE SCOTT AND JONICA NEWBY
UPDATED ABOUT AN HOUR AGO read the full story https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-08/bushfires-worry-and-anxiety-normal-in-recovery-from-disaster/11849380?pfmredir=sm&fbclid=IwAR0OlgxApdOD6fJbAcuVDp4p2nPK6RuoogPkvjiV5Ahn7s_GxdZQZDt2Noc

AAP: SEAN DAVEY 
Coolagolite farmer Steve Shipten is consoled by fellow farmers after surveying his fire-damaged property.

With images of distraught families fleeing bushfires, blackened homes, dead animals and smoke-filled skies, it's hard not to be affected by Australia's bushfire crisis.

Health experts say it's a normal reaction to feel fearful, anxious or overwhelmed after a traumatic event.

Key points:

  • Experts say there is no right way or wrong way to respond to trauma such as Australia's bushfire crisis
  • However, they suggest limiting exposure to social media, prioritising family time and trying to return to normal routines
  • They also recommend being confident in the future and to know "you are not alone"

Natural disasters shatter our sense of security, according to Beyond Blue chief executive Georgie Harman.

"People can experience thoughts, feelings, physical reactions that are intense, confusing or frightening." she said.

"It's important to remember there is no right way to respond to trauma.

"For some people, talking about it helps, but we're all different."

The impact could be greater for those directly affected by fires, she said.

"It can have a profound effect on how you are feeling and ignoring those feelings can slow your recovery."

If you or anyone you know needs help:
beyondblue on 1300 22 4636
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Headspace on 1800 650 890
Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

Please be safe and look after each other in this truely awful time.

 

Tags: Summer Australian Bushfires

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