Information for Australians returning from disaster affected areas

People react in different ways after traumatic experiences. Returning from a country affected by disaster, where you may have been injured or experienced a traumatic event can cause distressing thoughts and feelings. There are a number of support services available in every state and territory.

Date published:
General public

Understanding the way you are feeling

It is not uncommon to have trouble adjusting or to feel unsafe after a traumatic event. You may feel:

  • fear
  • anxiety
  • unsafe
  • have distressing thoughts

It is important to understand that you are not alone and that many other people will have similar feelings.

Do children experience the same feelings?

Children feel the tension, confusion and fear around them after a traumatic event. You can help them by:

  • creating a sense of calm
  • reassure children that they are safe and there is someone there to take care of them
  • return them to their normal routine

When is the right time to seek support?

The response to a trauma can happen immediately after an event or sometime much later. Having distressing thoughts and feelings after a traumatic event is not a sign of personal weakness.

If these feelings persist or impact on your day to day activities it may be necessary to seek additional support.

Where to get help

Mental health crisis telephone and online services by state and territory 

  • ACT 1800 629 354
  • NSW 1800 011 511
  • NT 1800 682 288
  • QLD 13 11 14 (Lifeline)
  • SA 13 14 65
  • TAS 1800 332 388
  • WA 1300 555 788 (Metro) 1800 676 822 (Peel)
  • VIC (Better Health)

Mental health services

If you or a loved one is in a life-threatening situation call 000 immediately.

Read the information sheet for Australians returning from disaster affected areas.

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