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.
A copy of the Final Report is available for download from the Victorian Department of Health’s website..