Mental Health Assistance for Australians Affected by Bushfires
The Australian Government is investing $76 million in a dedicated mental health support package for individuals, families and communities, including emergency services personnel, affected by the bushfires.
If you live in or have visited a bushfire-affected region, you can access up to 10 immediate, free counselling sessions through mental health services commissioned by local Primary Health Networks (PHNs).
If you have been affected by the bushfires, you are eligible to receive Medicare rebates for up to 10 psychological therapy sessions through eligible GPs, psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers. These sessions can be accessed face to face or via telehealth. You do not need a GP referral, diagnosed mental illness or mental health treatment plan to access these sessions.
To help find the care that best meets your needs, please speak to your local PHN. PHNs in fire affected areas have received funding for bushfire coordinators to assist you find services in your area. You can contact your Primary Health Network through the map locator tool at www.health.gov.au/phn.
These new services supplement existing services already being provided on the ground.