September 14, 2020 at 4:12 am #4415September 17, 2020 at 10:19 am #4485Participant
I’m just noting two of the findings from the Beyond Bushfires report:
“The major stressors that occurred after the fires, including loss of income, loss of accommodation and relationship breakdown, increased risk of poor mental heath outcomes.
People living alone were at higher risk of poor mental health outcomes but this risk was reduced for people who belonged to local community groups.”
We have noted both of these in our work with bushfire-affected communities and unfortunately, the loss of income has been exacerbated because of Covid. The main issues our counsellor is working with now is relational breakdown and people self-medicating. We have also noted higher risks in some communities because there are elderly people living alone on rural properties. Some have taken their lives since the fires. Online connection can help but with infrastructure damaged, people are having a hard time getting online.September 22, 2020 at 4:50 pm #4490Participant
Interesting read. I reminds me that the immediate psychological impacts of disasters as well as the long-term impacts require sound mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programmes. It seems to me that these programmes tend to be underfunded considering the huge needs. Therefore, coping mechanisms at the individual level and at community level need be considered within MHPSS activities to achieve better results.September 23, 2020 at 12:14 am #4491
Following on from Kelly and Tarik’s comments, there’s quite a wide range of useful psycho-social-related articles in https://www.torqaid.com/bushfires. These are found as references in the bushfire volunteer I wrote, as well as a bushfire-related bibliography. The psycho-social readings are applicable across a whole range of hazards/disasters, not just bushfires.
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