Relief & Recovery

Health and Wellbeing

Personal wellbeing

It is normal to experience a range of physical, mental, emotional and behavioural reactions following an emergency or distressing event.   

It is important people look after their mental health and that of their friends, family and neighbours.  

Elderly or isolated people, and those who have a pre-existing mental illness, history of trauma or recent bereavement may need extra support during an emergency. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed and finding it difficult to cope, reach out for help from friends and family or contact the services listed below.    

If at any time you are worried about your mental health or the mental health of a loved one, call Lifeline 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.  

Or contact:   

  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 offers free (even from a mobile) 24/7 support by qualified counsellors for young people aged 5 to 25 – also available via webchat and email, visit https://kidshelpline.com.au/  
  • Beyond Blue 1800 512 348 has trained counsellors available to talk to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Beyond Blue’s phone support line and online chatservice visit https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/i-need-support-now.html  
  • Parentline 13 22 89 is a phone service for parents and carers of children from birth to 18 years old offering confidential and anonymous counselling and support on parenting issues  
  • Your regular GP or health centre  
  • Family and friends 
  • Better Health Channel (betterhealth.vic.gov.au) 
  • If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.  
  • The way you react to an emergency, including your mental and emotional response, and the time it takes to recover, depends on many things. This includes the amount of support available, other stressors being experienced, or previous traumatic experiences. Recovery will be complex and unique to your own circumstance.  

Further information:  

Family Violence 

While emergencies like floods can put additional stress on close relationships and families, there is never an excuse for family violence. It is unacceptable.

If you are a victim of family violence, help and support is available.

Contact safe steps 24/7 on 1800 015 188, email safesteps@safesteps.org.au or visit www.safesteps.org.au for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Orange Door is the access point to services for adults, children and young people who are experiencing family violence. Visit www.orangedoor.vic.gov.au

If you are in immediate danger – call 000.

Whatever your situation, if you or someone you know needs help, there is a wide range of family violence support services available.

For state-wide contacts, visit www.vic.gov.au/family-violence-statewide-support-services

Managing your medications  

Some medicines need to be refrigerated between +2°C and +8°C or their effectiveness can deteriorate.  These can include vaccines, insulin, thyroxine tablets, immune therapies, some eye drops, some hormone products and some antibiotic mixtures for children.  

If the power has been off for a prolonged period and you are concerned about the quality of your medicines you should discard them unless it is essential to your immediate health (e.g.insulin).   

Some medicines, such as insulin, which are normally refrigerated can be kept at room temperature (below 25°C) for a specified number of days while you are using them. See the Consumer Medicines Information for the product.  

If you are concerned about a particular medicine, contact your pharmacist or doctor or contact Health Direct on 1800 022 222 for guidance.  

Private drinking water and floods

If your area has been affected by flooding, your private water source may be contaminated with floodwater. Floodwater is likely to contain harmful microorganisms, debris and chemicals from overflowing sewage systems, septic tanks, agricultural or industrial wastes.

If the water in your tank has not been affected by floodwaters, the water should be safe to use. If your private water source has been affected by floodwaters or your private water supply system is damaged, consider this water contaminated and do not use it.

More information about what to do if your water is contaminated is available on health.vic.gov.au

Health emergencies triple zero  

We are aware that there are still many in the community who are without power and communications so we are encouraging everyone in the community to check-in on others: look after those most at risk– your neighbour living alone, the elderly, the young, and people with a medical condition.  

If there is a medical emergency and you are unable to call triple zero (000) you should travel to your closest hospital. 

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