The go-to mental health toolkit for the fires

7 January 2020

Experts from The Australian National University (ANU) have developed a freely-accessible Community Trauma Toolkit, which contains a suite of resources to help support adults and children before, during, and after the bushfires.

The toolkit has been tailored for parents and caregivers, General Practitioners, health and social services workers, first responders, educators and community leaders.

The toolkit provides resources to support individuals and communities to: 

  • prepare children and their families both practically and psychologically for a disaster; 
  • interact with children during the event in a way that may enhance their resilience and recovery; 
  • interact and support children and their families as they re-establish a sense of safety immediately after an event; 
  • support children and their families in the ongoing recovery process; 
  • understand the importance of self-care during and after a traumatic event; and 
  • identify emotional and behavioural difficulties in children that may indicate more ongoing, specialised support is required.

The toolkit was developed via extensive consultation with the audiences, disaster recovery and resilience organisations and experts, and children and families with a lived experience of community trauma events. 

It contains written resources, podcasts, videos and workshop presentations with supporting resources.

The toolkit was developed as part of the Emerging Minds National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health which is funded by the Australian Department of Health under the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program.

The National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health is delivered by Emerging Minds, ANU, Parenting Research Centre, Australian Institute for Family Studies and the Royal Australian College of GPs.

This project was led by Director of the Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network at ANU, Ms Nicola Palfrey.

To access the toolkit click here.