10th Anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires
February 7, 2019 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires.
This is a significant date of remembrance for Victoria and may be a challenging time for many people across the state. During this time, and always, looking after ourselves, family, friends and neighbours is important.
Many people in the Indigo and Alpine Shire area were directly and indirectly affected by the fires and the heatwave at the time. It’s normal to experience different emotional and physical reactions as the anniversary approaches.
Albury Wodonga Health Nurse Practitioner Russel Maher said on most occasions, these feelings will subside again within a few weeks as part of the body’s natural healing and recovery process.
“Some people may also feel more anxious, stressed or nervous because of new bushfire risks and drought this summer - particularly if they live in a bushfire prone area or have been affected by other bushfires,” Mr Maher said.
“If you know someone who was affected by the 2009 bushfires, it’s a good idea to check in on them to see if they are okay. People find it helpful to know that family and friends are thinking of them and talking and providing support can be beneficial,” Mr Maher said.
If you or someone you know needs extra support at this time, there are lots of ways to get help. Depending on the challenges you are experiencing, you can speak with your family and friends, your GP, a mental health professional or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
There are free of cost mental health, counselling and support services in our local area available to support people during this time and ongoing.
Gateway Health provides general and specialised counselling services, family violence and alcohol and other drug support. Call: (03) 5723 2000 for Wangaratta or (02) 6022 8888 for Wodonga. Visit gatewayhealth.org.au
headspace Albury Wodonga provides a safe and confidential environment for young people aged 12- 25 and their families to access services such as education, training and employment support, alcohol and drug support, general health, wellbeing and mental health support. Call: (02) 6055 9555 Visit: headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/albury-wodonga
Albury Wodonga Health provides mental health services for children and adolescents, adults, older persons and inpatient mental health. Call: Wodonga region: 1300 881 104
Wangaratta region: 1300 783 347, NSW residents: 1800 800 944 Visit: awh.org.au
Centre Against Violence (CAV) provides family violence and sexual assault crisis care services and ongoing support in Wodonga and Wangaratta with outreach to smaller regions. Crisis support is available 24/7 call Family Violence: 1800 015 188 or Sexual Assault: 1800 806 292.
During office Hours call: 03 5722 2203 Visit: centreagainstviolence.org.au
Find out more by visiting www.vic.gov.au/2009-bushfires.