Bushfire information and support
Murray PHN acknowledges the devastation and loss of life and property during the 2019-2020 bushfires.
As a community and region we will be dealing with the physical and emotional impacts of these fires for the next few months and even potentially years ahead.
Murray PHN will continue to play a very important role in supporting our North East Victorian health service providers and communities in the bushfire risk, recovery and post recovery phases, which will be enhanced by the Federal Government’s Bushfire Relief Package.
Local community groups and organisations in the 2019-2020 bushfire affected communities can now apply for grant funding to deliver grassroots activities that support mental health and healing. Click here for more information.
Mental health support
It's normal for a traumatic events to affect people emotionally, even if not directly affected these events can re-trigger previous memories and emotions. This may even happen weeks or months afterwards.
We have funded APMHA HealthCare to provide free counselling services and advice options to people in our region affected by the 2019-2020 bushfires. This service is available 9am-6pm Monday to Friday by calling 1300 514 811.
Information and resources for health professionals
My Health Record and SafeScript have been valuable sources of health information, including medicines and allergies, for treating evacuees and holiday makers who are not regular patients or for whom medical records cannot be accessed.
Mental health services
As well as funding APMHA HealthCare, Murray PHN is supporting North East Victorian communities through implementing changes to access and eligibility criteria for primary mental health and psychosocial recovery services.
For more mental health resources
- New mental health Medicare items for health professionals to support those affected by bushfires - 12 January 2020
- The Bouverie Centre: Guidelines for trauma-informed family sensitive practice in adult health services
- Australian Family Physician Vol 42, No 9: Early response to psychological trauma and what GPs can do
- Pheonix Australia: PTSD guidelines, including for natural disasters and trauma reactions
- Every Doctor: Managing immense stress
For more information and resources
- RACGP: Information for GPs impacted by bushfires
- AAPM: administrative support for practices that have been affected by the bushfires
- Medici Capital is offering a free business support service for any pharmacy in a fire affected area
- PBS: Expansion of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Continued Dispensing Arrangements to Support Australians Affected by the Bushfire Crisis (until 31 March)
- Emergency Response Planning Tool (ERPT)
- Murray HealthPathways: information on the assessment and management of medical conditions, including local referral information including a new burn injuries pathway - note you must be registered and logged in to access.
Information and resources for individuals
- Beyondblue: Bushfires and mental health
- Beyondblue: Looking after yourself after a disaster
- Betterhealth Channel: Trauma - reaction and recovery
- headspace: how young people can cope with the stress of natural disasters
- headspace: how family and friends can support a child after a natural disaster
- Emerging Minds: Community Trauma Toolkit
- UNICEF Australia: How to talk to your children about Australia's bushfire emergency
- Pheonix Australia: Joel and the storm, a story for children who have experienced trauma
- Beyondblue: Bushfires response resource pack for educators
For other assistance
- Department of Human Services: financial assistance
- Victorian Government: Bushfire case support program - supporting personal and social recovery of people and communities, call 1800 560 760.
- Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP) payments are available for emergency relief to help meet immediate needs of households, including emergency food, shelter, clothing and personal items. A PHAP hotline 1800 961 054 is available 9–5pm, 7 days per week.
- Victorian Government: Bushfire Clean-up Program
- Australian Government: Help for Australian bushfire affected businesses, including transport, tax relief measures
Page last updated 1 April 2020