27 C
Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Coping with the impacts of the bushfire crisis

Latest News

Local youth among those hardest hit by housing affordability crisis

A 20 per cent spike in rents is driving an increase in youth homelessness across the North Coast, the organisers of a national campaign to end homelessness say.

Other News

Hippie fools

Edward Kent, Suffolk Park So, have the ‘hippie’ hipsters of Byron Bay figured out how the new global establishment party at...

Pottsville policing forum asks the hard questions

Members of the Pottsville and Tweed Coast community say that in response to an increase in criminal activity in the area and their request for increased police presence, they were hosting a police presentation at Pottsville.

The ghost in the archives #3: Sexism, legal discrimination and ‘the game of bastardry’

The ghost in the archives #3 – In which a former Echo drudge dives into the crypt and comes up covered in dusty memories.

Interview with Toni Childs

Internationally celebrated musician, Emmy winner and three times Grammy nominee Toni Childs is bringing her show to The Brunswick Picture House. With two acts, Childs is promising a special two hour performance as she celebrates her vast catalogue of music, which also saw her celebrate the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union in 2019.

The Channon resilient after disaster

Northern Rivers communities are nothing if not resilient and The Channon community is preparing to take a proactive stance when it comes to disasters in the area.

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable...

The Australian Red Cross is urging everyone to be aware of the psychological and emotional impacts the bushfires.

R U OK?

Since the fire season started in early spring, there have been very few Australians who have remained untouched by the repercussions of the bushfires and many are feeling the strain.

The Red Cross is urging people to be aware of the psychological and emotional impacts of this unprecedented bushfire season which has reached beyond the fire front to impact the lives of all Australians.

Australian Red Cross’ National Resilience Adviser, John Richardson says that immediately after a disaster, people may experience a range of thoughts and emotions, like numbness, fear, anger, helplessness and frustration. These are common reactions to an extraordinary event.

‘To help reduce the fallout of these events, it’s important for people to find ways to gain a sense of safety and control. People need a safe and secure place to stay, find out what happened to family and friends, and have access to relevant services.’

Psychological impacts extend beyond those directly affected

Mr Richardson says experience shows that psychological impacts extend beyond those directly affected by a disaster. ‘People previously effected by fires can have old emotions triggered, those whose homes were outside the fire’s path can experience survivor’s guilt, while visitors who have witnessed the disaster can return to their usual lives across the country carrying traumatic memories.’

‘The scale of this disaster seems to have extended those impacts further,’ he said. ‘It feels like the entire nation is traumatised by the event, our sense of safety and security compromised by the seemingly unending disaster unfolding on our screens, even filling the air around us.’

Responding to the unfolding disaster, trained Red Cross teams have been in evacuation and relief centres across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, providing psychological first aid, and in some cases other essentials such as food, water and relief items.

Register.Find.Reunite service

Teams are also reaching out to communities that have been impacted, providing practical and emotional support, connecting people to vital services, and providing emergency grants to people who have lost their homes. Red Cross is operating the Register.Find.Reunite service, helping reconnect loved ones who have been separated by the fires.

As well as these immediate efforts, Mr Richardson says it is important to look to the future, as recovery is a complex process that can take years.

‘Many of the emotional impacts of the disaster won’t appear immediately, and some can take a long time to develop,’ he says. ‘Our research with the University of Melbourne on the Black Saturday Bushfires found that after five years, 21 percent of the population were still experiencing serious mental health issues.’ 

‘Dealing with events like this over the longer term can be stressful, and emotionally and physical exhausting. Red Cross will be there throughout this recovery process, working with other agencies to support bushfire affected communities.’

As part of this recovery process, Red Cross offers a range of resources to help people cope with a major disaster, available online at redcross.org.au/recovery.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Fresh faces for Council elections

A very distinct, black flat-cap has just been thrown into the ring for the upcoming Byron Council elections, pegged for September 4.

Follow the buck$

JK Mckenna, Burringbar Give Fast Buck$ his own column in the paper. Let him speak. Let him be heard. Let’s also see some accountability from councils...

A bouquet for Lilac House

L Jenkins, Byron Bay Nicole Habrecht should receive free paint and brushes and a pat on the back from Council for maintaining her house in a...

Bruns boarding house showdown Thursday

The stage is set for a crucial debate over the Brunswick Heads ‘Corso’ development in Byron Council this week, with staff recommending that the developer’s revised plans be approved.