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Byron Shire
September 21, 2021

Improving mental health recovery after disasters

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Nicole Sadler.

A new website hopes to improve mental health recovery after disasters – bushfires, extreme weather, floods and other traumatic events can be devastating for those directly impacted as well as the people involved in disaster management efforts.

The psychological effects can be felt in the short term as well as over the weeks, months and years following.

Health practitioners need to be prepared so they can help individuals and communities recover from the trauma associated with disasters.

The Disaster Mental Health Hub is an online source of information, resources and training for General Practitioners (GPs) and other health professionals who support individuals and communities experiencing the mental health impacts of disasters.

Free disaster mental health information, resources and online training

The hub provides free disaster mental health information, resources such as tip sheets and videos, and online training programs.

Health practitioners will find tailored information, resources and training to help them during the three phases of disaster response: preparation (before), response (during and immediately after), and recovery (medium and longer term).

Nicole Sadler, Head of Policy and Practice at Phoenix Australia said the hub provides quick access to practical information and advice, when and as it’s needed.

‘Health practitioners will find information and resources that they can use when a disaster occurs and in the aftermath, plus there is in-depth training and information to help them build their skills in best practice, evidence-based strategies to help people recover,’ she said.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, said GPs and other health practitioners play an integral role in helping individuals and communities to recover in the aftermath of disasters.

‘The Disaster Mental Health Hub will be a vital resource for them to find the evidence-informed and practical information they need to help communities get back on their feet.’

The Disaster Mental Health Hub has been developed by Phoenix Australia in collaboration with Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and other stakeholder groups. It is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Disaster Response – Improving Mental Health Outcomes and Promoting Recovery from Trauma Program.

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