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Post Disaster Care

Post Disaster Care

Taking care of yourself, and those you care about after an extreme event

Queenslanders are pretty used to natural weather events but severe natural disasters, such as the Townsville floods, do take place and despite best efforts in cautionary preparedness, people can still be affected.

The destruction of property, livestock, crops, or loss of life when there is only a short amount of notice can trigger strong emotional anguish, grief, and suffering. Feelings and behaviours experienced can become overwhelming, difficult to understand, and distressing. These experiences following a challenging event are normal, however it is important to identify when these intensify or become more frequent. Mental health and wellbeing are not always a fixed state, and day-to-day we all fluctuate back and forth, but there are techniques we can all employ to assist in positive mental health and wellbeing. It is important to recognise and acknowledge the fantastic efforts 12 months on. In saying that the journey is not over and will continue for some years to come. Below are some tips we promoted last year that are still relevant today.

Ways to help process those emotions following a disaster


• Allow yourself time
• find activities that help you relax
• set small realistic goals that can help with your motivation
• spend time with family, friends, or community
• try maintaining a routine
• when the time is right, try to talk about what has happened and how you feel
• find out what to expect from the impacts of trauma
• talk about your good days and bad days
• think of a plan that helps deal with stressful moments or reminders.


• Lose touch with friends, family or community
• involve yourself in stressful situations with work or family
• work too much or keep too busy
• take risks, drink alcohol, or use drugs to cope
• stop doing activities that you enjoy
• avoid talking about your ups and downs or what happened.

Support lines are available if you or someone close to you is experiencing distress

1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services: 4722 5111
ACUTE Care Team Mental Health Crisis Support: 1300 642 255
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Child Youth Mental Health: 4433 9004
eheadspace: 1800 650 890
Homeless Hotline: 1800 474 753
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Mensline Australia: 1300 78 99 78
National Indigenous Critical Response Service (NICRS): 1800 805 801
NQ Connect: 1300 059 625
QLife: 1800 184 527
Samaritans Crisis Line: 13 52 47
Sane Australia: 1800 187 263
StandBy – Support After Suicide: 0438 648 268
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
Veterans & Veterans Families: 1800 001 046

If after an event, your daily functioning is seriously impacted and it continues on for more than two months, please seek support from a healthcare professional.

MHCT supporters

Adapted from Beyond Blue