Disaster Response and Recovery

Disasters affect the wellbeing of individuals and communities and have enormous cost and impact. PACFA members are able to make a significant contribution to the psychosocial recovery of individuals and communities during and post disasters.

PACFA’s Disaster Response Strategy 2020 outlines the immediate and longer-tern contributions that Counsellors and Psychotherapists can make to disaster response and recover, outlines the responsibilities of Australian Governments, and provides guidelines for becoming a volunteer responder. 

State and Territory emergency response agencies:

ACT Emergency Services Agency
Northern Territory Emergency Service
NSW Office of Emergency Management
Queensland Community Recovery
South Australia Fire and Emergency Services Commission
Tasmanian State Emergency Service
Emergency Management Victoria
Western Australian State Emergency Management Committee

Psychological First Aid

Australian Psychological Society and the Red Cross, Psychological First Aid: A guide to supporting people affected by disaster

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Psychological first aid skills for psychological recovery

Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network, Disasters: Psychological First Aid


Australian Psychological Society, Recovering from Bushfires and disaster

Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network, Disasters – bushfire resources

Australian Childhood Trauma Group, Supporting Mental Health & Wellbeing in Times of Devastation

UnitingCare, Disaster relief and community recovery – Self help toolkits and information factsheets

Life in Mind, Mental Health Support for Bushfire affected communities

Children, families, and specific cohorts

Australian Psychological Society, Helping children who have been affected by bushfires. 

Autism Tasmania, Autism and bushfire emergencies

Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Natural disaster resources – Birdie stories

Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network, Case examples of trauma reactions in young people


Emerging Minds, Community Trauma Toolkit

The Australian Journal of Rural Health, Face to face, person to person: Skills and attributes deployed by rural mental health clinicians when engaging with consumers


Counselling Today, American Counseling Association, Disaster mental health: Ethical issues for counsellors

Vistas Online, American Counseling Association, An ethical decision making model for crisis counsellors