Supporting recovery efforts
The National Bushfire Recovery Agency will oversee a National Bushfire Recovery Fund which will support all recovery efforts across Australia over the next two years. The agency is based out of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Its website includes fact sheets with more details on the recovery efforts, where people can go to for support and key contacts for emergency assistance.
Visit the National Bushfire Agency website if you have any questions or would like more information about national recovery efforts.
For further information on the Bushfire Response program, please contact the Bushfire Response Coordinator.
Bushfire Response Coordinator
Providing ongoing mental health care for bushfire affected communities
Those awarded grants for 2020
For all grant enquiries please contact us.
Immediate counselling for those suffering bushfire related trauma
CSAPHN has commissioned local established service providers to provide immediate counselling and other mental health services to support the needs of people experiencing distress or trauma as a result of the South Australian bushfires, including emergency response personnel.
These services will be:
Frontline Distress and Trauma Counselling
Mental health support for young people
Expansion of headspace services to meet the increased demand for young people aged 12-25 impacted by bushfires and support for parents to ensure they know how to support children. Additional clinical supports are now available in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island via telephone, screen to screen and or face to face.
Self-referrals are welcome or can be provided by a GP, school and or other service providers (No Mental Health Treatment Plan is required). CSAPHN also continues to fund Regional Access which provides 24/7 non-emergency counselling services for people in rural settings, particularly those affected by the bushfires non-emergencies.
A tribute to resilience and community spirit on Kangaroo Island, 2020.
Helping communities recover from bushfires
'Together We Can’ is a project supported by Moorundi Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (MACCHS) through Country SA PHN Federal Bushfire funding.
The project provides the students of Kangaroo Island Community Education (KICE) the opportunity to come together to connect, share and continue healing through writing and performing original songs based on their own personal stories of the 2019-2020 bushfires and ongoing recovery.
Under the guidance of Pete and Kerry from STAMP Music who worked closely with Diana, Georgie and Ros from MACCHS and Maxine and her staff at KICE, the students have been able to put into words their incredibly challenging and unique lived experiences of the bushfires and COVID-19. Country SA PHN is proud to be able to support grass roots community based initiatives such as this. Listen to the End of Year Christmas Event here.
Watch the video about the Together We Can project
Mt Barker headspace
Victor Harbor headspace
10 mental health treatment services for the bushfire affected
From 17 January, you will be able to get Medicare benefits for up to 10 mental health treatment services if:
To make it as simple and fast as possible to access the new items, individuals do not need to have a GP referral or mental health treatment plan, but can seek appointments directly with suitable GPs, psychologists, and other eligible mental health professionals.
Sessions are available until 31 December 2021. They are in addition to the 10 psychological therapy sessions currently available under the existing Better Access Program.
Find out more about this initiative
Better Access Bushfire Recovery Telehealth Initiative
The new Bushfire Recovery and telehealth Medicare items will apply to all Australians, including children, young people, adults, seniors, and frontline emergency personnel who were residents of, working in, or visiting a bushfire affected region.
The expanded telehealth Initiative will allow people in rural and remote areas affected by bushfires to receive Medicare rebated counselling and psychological support through video telehealth services. This will also allow eligible GPs to deliver mental health and wellbeing support via telehealth.
Visit the Services Australia for up-to-date information:
Government support provided to those affected by bushfires
Services can be accessed from now until 31 December 2021
Free counselling for the bushfire affected
For patients wanting to know how they can access the free counselling in bushfire affected communities (without the need for a referral or mental health plan), there are several avenues:
Commonwealth funded Community wellbeing and participation funding is being used to increase the delivery of non-clinical supports in fire affected communities based on the needs of the local regions. In order to effectively determine these needs, Country SA PHN has worked collaboratively with local government, National Bushfire Recovery Agency, Non-Government Organisations and Bushfire Recovery Groups to identify non-clinical, community-based activities to support mental health and community wellbeing.
Community Resilience Officer (CRO) positions have been recruited across all four bushfire impacted locations to deliver these community driven, co-designed projects:
Adelaide Hills ‘Community Resilience and Readiness Program’ - Located at Adelaide Hills Council
Kangaroo Island ‘KI - From Recovery to Community’ - Located at Junction Australia (Kangaroo Island)
Keilira (South East) ‘Recovery Starts Here’ - located Kingston Council
Yorke Peninsula ‘Developing a Disaster Resilience in the YP Communities’ - located SYP Hub (auspice by Yorke Peninsula Council)
Each respective project will focus on psychological preparation and community resilience building with the aim to reduce or positively influence the potential mental and emotional impacts of future natural disasters and traumas.
Key roles of the CRO’s are , but not limited to;
For further information please contact the Community Resilience Officers located in the following locations:
Miranda Hampton and Sue Thomas
Kate Martin and Katie Hughes
Mental health support for young people
As an organisation we have felt the generosity of our community as we have been inundated with various offers of support including clinicians offering their services. CSAPHN has an important role in coordination of the mental health response through the role of Bushfire Trauma Response Coordinators and through working with other state, local & non-government agencies to ensure complementarity and integration of services.
We are collecting volunteer information for emergency situations, including bushfires for temporary workforce and vacancies in field primary care clinics to be shared with the relevant government authorities in times of need.
To help coordinate these offers we have set up a register here. We thank you for your generosity and patience and we will be in touch.
Please see our helpful resources below. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to email@example.com.
Phoenix Australia have developed a range of resources informed by best practice to support health practitioners, first responders and community members after the bushfires.
Information, resources and training for professionals who support individuals and communities experiencing the mental health impacts of disasters.
Doctors’ Health SA is a not-for-profit, independent and profession-controlled organisation dedicated to improving the health of doctors and medical students for the good of the community.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is committed to supporting members in their pursuit of clinical excellence and ensuring that general practice remains a satisfying and rewarding vocation.
The Australian Government is working with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia to upskill pharmacists and pharmacy support staff in the area of Mental Health training in bushfire-affected areas.
Your hub for news, services and resources to help disaster recovery in South Australia.
People may be at risk of developing anxiety or depression after experiencing a traumatic event or a natural disaster like a bushfire, flood, cyclone or earthquake.
Focuses on empowering everyone to live the most mentally healthy life possible and also has information on suicide prevention.
Find resources on how to look after physical and mental health after a natural disaster.
Find digital mental health resources from trusted service providers
Need support? Contact our Bushfire Response Coordinator