We can help you – to get help!

After a bushfire, sometimes people are unsure of what to do next. There are so many competing priorities and so much information at times that it can be difficult to see your way forward.

A government program has been set up to help guide people through the process of getting the support they need, and managing progress along the way. It’s called the Bushfire Case Support Program.

Gateway Health is providing this program in the north-east of Victoria for people who have been affected by recent fires.

We understand that needs and priorities will change as people, families and communities move through the recovery process, and we are here for the next 12 months to help with practical support.

Gateway Health Bushfire Support Coordinators can help by working with you to:

  • understand your needs, priorities and the next steps you could take
  • provide information and support to access services and recovery programs
  • provide information about available grants
  • assist with paperwork
  • link you with financial counselling advice and assistance
  • link you with small business advice and assistance
  • provide community information
  • a small amount of financial support to help with immediate needs.

There is no cost for this service.

Where are the Support Coordinators located?

Gateway’s Support Coordinators will make first contact with you over the phone and work out with you how best to meet your needs. Support Coordinators can visit you at home or another a location that suits you, provide information and support over the phone and are also located at Recovery Centres.

How can I access this program?

To access this program, call 1800 560 760 8am – 6pm weekdays and 9am – 5pm on weekends. There are a few steps in the process to ensure we can allocate you a Support Coordinator to meet your needs.

The Bushfire Case Support Program is funded by the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and the Victorian Government.

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Beyond Bushfires

It is normal for a traumatic event to affect you emotionally and physically. The best source of support is your usual networks - family, friends and community.

However if you need further help the Bushfire Counselling Line can provide advice, counselling through a range of options, and referral as appropriate.

The line is managed by APMHA Health Care through Commonwealth funding, supported by the local partnership between Albury Wodonga Health Mental Health, Gateway Health, Murray PHN, DHHS Regional office and APMHA.

The line is staffed by experienced clinicians Monday-Friday from 9:00 am till 6:00pm. These clinicians will provide direct advice, consultation and referral as required to local services.

Download the Bushfire Counselling flyer for contact details and a range of resources.

Further information resources can also be found at the website of the Australian Primary Mental Health Alliance (APMHA), a not-for-profit organisation linking mental health service providers and offering programs for groups in particular need: https://apmha.com.au/bushfires/

Guidance here from Vic Emergency, the Victorian Government’s emergency response agency.

Emergency Services fire recovery portal: https://files-em.em.vic.gov.au/public/RelRec/Portals/Fire-Recovery-Portal.htm