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Coping with unexpected events

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If the last few years have left you stressed, anxious, sad or overwhelmed, you are not alone.

Multiple extreme weather events, COVID-19, the rising cost of living, and financial stress have affected all of us in different ways.

Dealing with the effects of natural disasters and other unexpected events can have long-term effects on our mental health and wellbeing. It’s natural to experience a range of responses and emotions, including stress, fear, and anxiety. If you have been directly affected, you might still be feeling intense emotions. You may have concerns about how the experience has affected your family, your living arrangements, finances, school, or work.

Even if you have not been directly affected, you may have ongoing distress from previous events. You may have loved ones who are going through a rough time, or you may feel overwhelmed from media coverage or hearing people around you talk about the event(s).

Whatever you’re going through, it is important that you talk to someone you trust and find support. This could include talking with friends, family, and community members as well as services in your local area, your GP, or a national support service about how you are feeling.

Do you need immediate support?

If you or someone you care for need support right away or you are worried about someone’s immediate safety, here are some support options:

If someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 000

For immediate 24/7 mental health assistance, contact:

For other support and counselling services, including state-specific services, visit our crisis support page.

Access government sources of support

There are helpful, trusted government resources you can access to help you cope with stressful events and their long-term impacts.

The Services Australia website has important support information and regular updates for people impacted by stressful events, including information about financial support available. 

The Disaster Assist website can help you find information on declared natural disasters. If you’re in an area affected by a disaster, you can search to find out what help is available for your Local Government Area.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can visit the National Debt Helpline or call them on 1800 007 007. For general information on how to manage your money including supports available for managing debt please visit the Moneysmart website.

For the latest updates on natural disasters and other unexpected events, visit our News and announcements page.