As communities across Australia still grapple with the aftermath of the devastating black summer bushfires, researchers are warning more needs to be done to support the long-term mental health and personal wellbeing of first responders and their families.
A new study ‘After the Fires’ suggests targeted mental health and wellbeing resources need to be developed and volunteers involved in extensive diaststers need more financial support.
Flinders University mental health advocate Professor Sharon Lawn led the qualitative study which involved interviews with volunteers from SA, Victoria, NSW and Queensland. She joins Jennie Lenman in this podcast to discuss. Listen below to the interview, and read more about the study in our local news article.
The research is a collaboration between Flinders University and the University of Western Australia with Military and Emergency Services Health Australia (MESHA) with funding from a Medical Research Future Fund grant.
Photo by Sharon Lawn at KI looking towards the Remarkable Rocks in the Flinders Chase National Park, a few months after the fires. Supplied.