AHA documented and evaluated the psychosocial response to the 2009 Victorian bushfires, based on the ‘After the bushfires: Victoria’s psychosocial recovery framework’.
- Documented state-wide and local strategies implemented to support psychosocial recovery, with a focus on personal support and psychological/mental health services
- Evaluated the consistency between the planned psychosocial response and actual psychosocial response to the bushfires
- Identified issues associated with the psychosocial response from the perspective of different stakeholders including Commonwealth, state and local government service providers, non-government agencies, VBRRA, Community Recovery Committees and local communities, including:
- What worked well, what could be improved and any gaps
- Issues relating to not only the services provided but also the processes (eg communication, governance, coordination) that were utilised in the provision of individualised psychosocial responses.
- Identified the education and training needs of counsellors and mental health workers and estimated the extent to which training initiatives met this need
- Documented examples of good practice and processes as exemplars to inform future planning and provide guidance on effective strategies for future emergencies
- Provided recommendations on the structures, processes and programs to be considered in future psychosocial plans for emergencies.
AHA’s Final Report is available for download from the Victorian Department of Health’s website.