Bligh calls on Queenslanders to help disaster-affected neighbours

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh is calling Queenslanders to reach out and take care of their neighbours, families and friends, especially over the Easter holidays.

“We all have a role to play in looking out for our family members, our friends, our neighbours, and our work colleagues [who were affected by the recent natural disasters],” Ms Bligh said in Parliament today.

The Government will launch a mental health media campaign in metropolitan and rural areas aimed at normalising grieving and stress in the wake of the Queensland natural disasters. The campaign will give the public information on where to get mental health help.

The upcoming Easter holidays may be more emotionally demanding than usual for people affected by the summer floods and cyclones, Ms Bligh said.

“While the physical destruction of the natural disasters was immediate and obvious, other impacts such as emotional distress and depression are not so obvious.

“Research from natural disasters around the world shows that the period of 10 to 12 weeks after the disaster occurs can be the time when the emotional damage of events really starts to hit home.”

This year Easter falls about three months after the widespread natural disaster and Ms Bligh emphasised the potential difficulties that Queenslanders may face, during the traditionally family-oriented holiday period.

She urged residents to lend an ear to those affected by the disaster, and to provide practical support where necessary.

Mental health support is available from the following providers:
Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for telephone crisis counselling, 24 hours.
13-HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for further information and referrals, 24 hours.
Six to 18 sessions with a registered psychologist via GP Mental Health Plan referral.

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