The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has urged Australians, especially those directly affected by the Queensland floods, to monitor and look after their mental health in the wake of the current flood disaster.
Dr Maria Tomasic, President of the College, said people in Queensland may be suffering significant grief, shock and loss. Once the initial shock and the floods subside they may experience long-term psychological problems such as depression and anxiety disorders. Dr Tomasic said it is particularly important for people to monitor the psychological impact on children.
Dr Daniel Varghese, Queensland Branch Chair of the College, said anyone feeling distress should seek help from a mental health professional, a telephone counselling service or visit their GP. For those not directly affected by the floods, donating to the flood appeal can help reduce feelings of helplessness, and obviously assist those in need.
Lifeline operates a 24-hour telephone counselling service on 13 11 14
Where life is in immediate danger call police, ambulance or fire on 000
Other support services:
Beyondblue information line 1300 224 636
Mensline Australia 1300 789 978
Kids Help Line (for children aged 5 to 18) 1800 551 800
Rural Mental Health Support Line 1800 201 123
Australian Psychological Society (to find a psychologist) 1800 333 497
Australian Red Cross