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Natural disasters and traumatic events impact much more than just the physical environment. They can have a profound effect on the mental health and well-being of affected communities.

24/7 telephone services

There is 24/7 help available on the following numbers:

Note: Farmers and business owners in bushfire-affected areas can access Farm Gate counsellors and peer support workers on the Mental Health Line, 1800 011 511.

Free counselling 

The Australian Government is providing mental health support for individuals, families and emergency services workers affected by the bushfires. Up to 10 free counselling sessions are available. 

To speak with a social worker, call 180 22 66.

Medicare rebates for treatment services

If you have been affected by bushfires, you can receive Medicare rebates for up to 10 face-to-face or telehealth mental health treatment services through eligible GPs, psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers.

You do not need a GP referral, diagnosed mental illness or mental health treatment plan to access these sessions.

Rebates are available from 17 January 2020 to 31 December 2021.


Free mental health workplace courses

The Black Dog Institute is offering businesses free training for their employees, to learn how to proactively manage mental health at work. Businesses with up to 199 employees can apply.

There is also a special course available for managers to learn how to support their team’s wellbeing at work.

Visit SafeWork NSW to find out more about the employee training course and managers training course.

Workplace mental health policy support

Assure Programs offers a free workplace health and safety advice to businesses. They can also help you create a mental health development plan.

Visit SafeWork for more information and to apply.