Supporting Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health
The recent Queensland floods and cyclones significantly affected the emotional wellbeing of many Queenslanders.
In most cases the initial emotional distress will gradually settle. However, some people may still be experiencing emotional reactions such as nervousness, mood swings, shame, irritability, anger, worry, frustration and difficulty with concentration and decision making. In some cases physical symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, poor sleep, muscular aches or weight gain may be more apparent. Stress can also bring on behavioural changes including increased eating, drinking, fidgeting, pacing, social withdrawal, yelling and blaming. These reactions may become severe enough to affect the person’s personal and family life or their work.
If you feel that you, or someone you know is having difficulty, help is available. Often, this help will be short and simple, and prevent people from having longer term problems.
What assistance will be provided?
Community-based non-government organisations are available to assist disaster-affected individuals, carers, families and communities with emotional wellbeing and mental health support services including:
- practical mental health information, resources and advice about supporting family, friends and neighbours, recognising the early signs of psychological distress, and where to go to get help, and
- personal support through individual and group counselling services.
These support services will be delivered in collaboration with general practitioners, allied health providers, schools, public mental health services, private psychologists and psychiatrists.
Where can people seek help?
The most important thing to remember is that you, your family and your community are not alone. There are a number of sources of emotional wellbeing and mental health support following the recent cyclones and floods, including organisations listed overleaf.
If you need immediate assistance please contact:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- 13 HEALTH: 13 432 584
It is also important for Queenslanders affected by the floods and cyclones to:
- share their feelings when they are ready
- try to keep their lives as normal as possible
- accept support from people who care
- take the time to be with their family and friends
- express their needs clearly and honestly
- look after themselves – eat well, sleep and take time out, and
- let their children talk to them and others about their emotions.
Other useful links
For information about mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people: www.qld.gov.au/disability/children-young-people/mental-health
For information about coping with stress in times of crisis or disaster: www.health.qld.gov.au/disaster/stress_well.asp
For assistance in identifying a suitable psychologist in your area: www.psychology.org.au/FindaPsychologist/
For further information:
What is the Mental Health Disaster Recovery Package?
The Mental Health Disaster Recovery Package delivers a comprehensive range of integrated community-based services to help build resilience, and empower and support individuals and communities to come to terms with and recover from the recent Queensland natural disasters.
The Mental Health Disaster Recovery Package is part of the $39M Community Recovery and Wellbeing Package, a joint initiative of the Australian and Queensland Governments under National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
A total of $11.25M will provide emotional wellbeing and mental health support services for people who need help to recover from the Queensland floods and cyclones. This includes $1.23M that the Department of Communities has re-prioritised for this important initiative.
Queensland Association for Healthy Communities
Anglicare, Central Queensland
Far North Queensland
Tully Support Centre,
Tableland Community Link Association, Atherton
South West Queensland
Kambu Medical Centre,
Click here to download a pdf of this fact sheet
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