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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.

Extreme weather events, global conflicts, COVID-19, and cost of living pressures can be challenging and impact our lives in different ways. 

Dealing with these 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 could have loved ones who are going through a rough time, or you may feel overwhelmed from media coverage and conversations with friends and family.

For many people, these experiences can bring up ongoing distress or trauma from previous events.

Learn more about trauma and stressor-related disorders.

Whatever you're going through, there is support available.

It’s important to talk to someone about what you're going through, such as friends, family, and community members. You can also reach out to mental health services in your local area, your GP, or a national support service, like the ones listed below.

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 funded 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.