Coping with bushfires
Beyond Blue would like all individuals accessing our online forums in relation to Australia’s bushfire crisis to know that we are here for them.
If you’re feeling worried, we want you to know that it’s okay and you are not alone.
The impacts of this crisis will be ongoing and everyone will have different experiences, thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Even if you haven't been directly affected by these fires you may still feel sad, overwhelmed, stressed and upset.
We hope that you will use this safe,
understanding space to talk, share and support one another on a united front.
It can be difficult to know what to say in times like these.
The forum community have been engaging in discussions that you may find helpful: Are you managing to be ok with all these dreadful bushfires?
You may wish to share what you are doing to help cope, or simply to share your experience with others.
Beyond Blue has developed a dedicated resource about bushfires and mental health, including practical advice about dealing with the emotional impact of bushfires, information about the signs and symptoms of emotional distress, tips for supporting children and young people, and links to several useful websites.
Taking care of yourself:
- Limit your exposure to social media – it’s okay to have a break and it’s important you make sure you’re not becoming overwhelmed.
- Speak with our friendly forum community about how you’re feeling
- Set realistic goals that keep you motivated, but don't take on too much (most people in this situation talk of recovery as a journey not a sprint)
- Give yourself time
Seeking help when you are in a bushfire affected area:
- Follow the advice of your local state fire services if you are in a bushfire affected area.
State fire services:
- If you require emergency support please contact 000
As a community, let’s help one another through sharing and connecting during this difficult time. This could be by listing links to articles or resources you have found helpful, tips for what is working to help you manage or sharing your thoughts, feelings or experience related to the bushfire crisis.
Whatever it may be, we're here.
It is exactly what this space is for and I too am feeling a little bit the same, saddened, frustrated, guilt that I have not lost anything like some of our neighbors have but am feeling overwhelmed at this state of our Country. However there is an amazing thing that is happening along side of the tragedy and that is human kindness and that of people reaching out to help both financially and with supplies, with trucks, with mental health support, and with love and kindness, that is so heart warming to see.
I have had to turn off the news and not really look at facebook and the likes, while there is the kindness thread the impact of it is alot to deal with.
Great to chat to you and you are not whinging...it is a huge thing that is happening, but we will recover, we are Australian!
I have never seen fundraising like it before, you're right it has been absolutely astounding to see how everyone has pooled together to show support.
I agree with you about the news. On one hand I want to keep watching to know what is happening but it is also a lot to take in. I have family in areas that have been impacted previously so I feel inclined to keep watching, it is scary and I just hope we get a lot of rain.
Great to hear back from you OM
It is hard to want to know the updates as you say, but also know when it is time to turn off too.
I hope that your family remain safe, and it is that extra layer of fear if you have experienced this before.
The other weird thing is that the emotions that go with all the love and support also make me very emotional but in a good way, so it is just alot to manage.
Keep chatting and I hope that by sharing here it makes you feel some level of comfort, it is really helping me.
Some rain would be so wonderful and I hope we can get some really soon, even if it is just a shower, and it doesn't put the fires out, but with rain it does give people some psychological peace, in that if it is raining the fires might go, which in itself great.
It is wonderful we have this amazing space and community here where we can openly share how we are feeling about so many different topics. Bushfires included.
I think it is the enormity and ferocity of the fires and the amount of devastation that is so overwhelming. The coverage seems to be everywhere as well.
It does me good to recognise the fear, anger, frustration, sadness, confusion and so many other emotions I am experiencing at this time. Accepting them as being a part of a normal response to all that is happening helps me.
Sharing here that we are hurting and not coping can be releasing.
Looking for a release from the negative emotions is helpful. We need a balance.
A family member has a bush block that has been burnt out. We both had a laugh when she told me the fire fighters were able to save their shed and also their long drop bush toilet. The toilet is some distance from the shed so they would have had to make an extra effort to have saved it.
With kind regards to Everyone.
OverwhelmedMarlon - I wanted to write to you and echo what everyone else has said. I'm really glad that you are here posting and sharing your thoughts. I hear you completely, and want to let you know that it isn't at all stupid.
What's happening with the bushfires is a damn tragedy and nightmare, and I think it's gotten to the point where its having a knock on affect on everyone - whether you are an Aussie or even people overseas. I know I've been a total mess, even though I live in the city where I'm safe.
You have every right to feel what you feel; regardless of whether you are affected or not.
I think the hardest thing I'm finding is that there is no 'safe space' away from bushfire saturation in the news or social media. I have a chronic illness as well as depression so I rely on social media and the internet to keep close to the world but that means I need to choose between my contact with the outside world and keeping myself safe.
And then I feel awful that I'm thinking please stop, when I know how bad this is for those affected, so I was very glad to find this page and see other people feeling similar.
I have been struggling with the fire situation even though I am no where near the fires.
It has been very upsetting with what has been happening and adding to my distress has been so much anger and nastiness directed towards our Prime Minister. I am in my 70’s and have never experienced this type of behaviour in any other disasters we have had. I feel so sad as it feels like I am watching our country divide at a time when everyone should come together.
Hi Maisie's Right Here
It is great that you have found a space here, that is what we are here for and I feel very similar to you, I want to watch the news and be across what the latest world issues are but it is so heavy with fire after fire, devastation, people homeless, animals dying...I don't need to spell it out here..but I feel your pain too, the guilt to be able to turn it off when others are suffering so badly, however, that does not mean we do not care for our fellow neighbours or have empathy or want to support them, we just need to take care of us too. While we might have not had a house burn down we can imagine what that would be like so empathy can be as heavy as having the actual experience happen.
Keep talking and coming to visit here if you need to, we are here for virtual hugs and for comfort and to let each other know we care.
Thank you for sharing your care here too MRH xxx