With concerns that the recent bushfires may cause heightened stress and anxiety for people in East Gippsland, a free, over-the-phone, no-referral advice and counselling service has been made available to locals.
Provided by Beyond Blue and known as the New Access program, the service is designed with rural and regional communities in mind, where mental health support can be limited and it can be difficult to travel to visit health professionals in person.
The free New Access service delivers practical advice about how to manage the pressures and stresses of everyday life.
It is completely confidential and available in-person as well as over the phone. It does not require a referral from a doctor.
For more information visit www.beyondblue.org.au/NewAccess
Or you can call Wellways, the New Access provider for this region, on 5622 4140 during business hours.
People affected by the bushfires this summer may experience a range of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that can be intense, confusing and frightening.
These are common reactions to an extraordinary situation.
After a bushfire many people deal with memories and ongoing feelings by drawing on their own strengths, as well as the support of others, and will gradually rebuild their lives and achieve a sense of wellbeing again.
However, it is common that some people struggle to deal with feelings and thoughts that result from a bushfire or from the tragic losses that may occur.
It’s important to know the difference between a common reaction to a stressful or traumatic event and signs that indicate you should seek additional support.
Here’s a list of other mental health support resources available in Wellington and East Gippsland shires:
Gippsland Lakes Complete Health
- Offers counselling for people who are experiencing a range of issues and problems.
- 5155 8300 and glch.org.au
Central Gippsland Health Service
- At Mara, Sale, Heyfield, Loch Sport Community Health, Rosedale Community Health.
- 5143 8800 and www.cghs.com.au
Orbost Regional Health
Omeo District Health
Yarram and District Health Service
Royal Flying Doctor Wellbeing
- Free, confidential mental health and wellbeing service for people living in rural and remote communities.
- 8412 0480 and www.flyingdoctor.org.au/vic/our-services/wellbeing/
Relationships Australia, Victora
- Offers counselling for individuals, couples, families, and children.
- 1300 369 630 and www.relationshipsvictoria.com.au/services/counselling
- Confidential support services for young people aged 12 – 25 years.
- 5141 6200 and www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/bairnsdale/
- 24/7 telephone crisis support and counselling.
- 13 11 14 and www.lifeline.org.au/about-lifeline/contact-us