It is easy to lose sight of the impacts that the recent bushfires had on thousands of people, now that everyone is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Practitioners should be alert for signs that patients are experiencing the after-effects of bushfire trauma.
Social support and connectedness is one of the strongest predictors of resilience and recovery following trauma and disaster. It is up to us as a community to manage the potential mental health and wellbeing impacts of this pandemic, to support ourselves and reach out and engage with others.
The tenth anniversary of the 2009 Black Saturday fires is an opportunity to acknowledge their impact and share what we have learned from our experience, practice, and research about how disasters affect mental health, resilience and community wellbeing.