The School of Psychology at Bond University is offering free mental health counselling to people directly affected by the floods in NSW and Queensland.
The telehealth sessions will be conducted by provisionally registered psychologists who are completing their Master of Clinical Psychology degree.
Associate Professor Peta Stapleton said the Bond University Psychology Clinic swung into action following calls for emergency psychological services, particularly in Northern NSW.
She said flood trauma may have been amplified by long Covid lockdowns and past experiences with flooding.
“We had the 2017 floods and now these again in quick succession,” Dr Stapleton said.
“People might have been able to pick themselves up once, but now they have to do it again, with Covid thrown in between.
“They may be wondering, what's the likelihood it might happen again?
“It's like a level of fatigue that they reach emotionally. They are just absolutely depleted of that ability to bounce back.”
Dr Stapleton said the psychologists would be watching for signs of hopelessness or helplessness that might indicate depression.
“We've seen historically with Wall Street crashes and the GFC and things like that people then become suicidal. It may be a real issue that people feel that's their only option.”
Appointments can be made by calling 07 5595 2527 and the counselling sessions will be conducted via MS Teams or Zoom.
“People can get on their mobile phone in the park if they need to, and just have someone who will listen to their story and their stress,” Dr Stapleton said.
“Our people are well-trained, non-judgmental, empathic and caring.”
Dr Stapleton said callers would have access to Bond counsellors for several months and repeat sessions if necessary.
If immediate help is required, you should contact:
• Lifeline on 13 11 14
• Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636
• MensLine on 1300 78 99 78
• Lifeline Text on 0477 13 11 14
• Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 (children under 12 years)
• Open Arms – Veteran Family and Counselling on 1800 011 046