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New South Wales and South Australian governments have announced mental health initiatives to support those suffering from the bushfire crisis.

The NSW government will deploy teams of mental health clinicians to support individuals, carers and families affected by the fires across the state to help with their mental health and wellbeing.

The clinicians, who will help build community resilience and focus on vulnerable people, will be easily identifiable by their NSW Health fluorescent vests and add to the Disaster Welfare Services already being provided at evacuation centres throughout bushfire-affected areas.

Additionally, the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line is also staffed with counselling support and can be accessed by phone on 1800 018 444.

Meanwhile a range of mental health and wellbeing specialists and service providers will meet today to ensure that South Australians impacted by the recent bushfires receive appropriate mental health and wellbeing support, both in the recovery stage and beyond.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the Roundtable Discussion for Mental Health and Wellbeing, led by Wellbeing SA, brings together key government agencies and non-government organisations, to look at opportunities to strengthen South Australia’s natural disaster resilience response.

“As bushfires continue to burn around Australia, it’s critical we act now so that South Australian communities are getting the support they need,” Minister Wade said.

“It’s important that we determine what supports are currently in place and identify what gaps need to be filled. These tragic bushfires are likely to have a long-lasting effect on some people’s mental health and wellbeing, and early intervention can reduce the impact.”  he said.

“The government’s support will be extensive and ongoing for South Australians in the immediate, medium and longer term.”

More assistance for all Australians can be accessed via:

  • Lifeline on: 131114
  • Beyond Blue on: 1300 224 636
  • Mensline on: 1300 789 978
  • Kids Helpline on: 1800 551 800