CatholicCare Wollongong has announced the commencement of the Bushfire Recovery Counselling Support Program.
The program includes the appointment of a local Recovery Counsellor, to assist people who have been impacted by recent bush fires. The appointment comes at a critical time for people who are recovering from the bushfires. CatholicCare says research informs them that six months after a natural disaster, there is an increased risk of serious mental health challenges, including a heightened risk of suicide, according to Director Michael Austin.
Mr Austin says that these people may be experiencing a wide range of feelings, from anger, anxiety and depression to guilt and grief. When a natural disaster occurs, there is often a delay in help seeking as people are often trying to re-establish their property and practical components of their everyday life. These people may see others moving forward, yet they may continue to experience feelings of grief and distress, which can become invasive and unmanageable.
This is the often the point where people should reach out and seek support. With the assistance of Federal Government grant funding, CatholicCare can provide tailored services to meet the needs of any individuals who are recovering from the bush fires.
Image Credit: CSIRO / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)