Projects Mental HealthPublic & Preventative Health

Evaluation of Psychosocial Response to 2009 Victorian Bushfire

Projects Mental HealthPublic & Preventative Health

Evaluation of Psychosocial Response to 2009 Victorian Bushfire

Projects Mental HealthPublic & Preventative Health

Evaluation of Psychosocial Response to 2009 Victorian Bushfire

  • Services

    Evaluation & Advisory

  • Status

    Complete

  • Client

    Department of Health & Human Services

  • Jurisdiction

    Victoria

AHA documented and evaluated the psychosocial response to the 2009 Victorian bushfires, based on the ‘After the bushfires: Victoria’s psychosocial recovery framework’.

The project:

  • 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..

The evaluation adopted a broad definition of psychosocial, focusing primarily on personal and psychological/mental health supports.