Counselling available as bushfire anniversary approaches

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Wimmera Bushfire Support

10 years on from Black Saturday bushfires

Communities across the Wimmera that were affected by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires have access to extra support, thanks to a government grant given to community services organisation Uniting Vic.Tas.

Uniting is offering offer case management, counselling and outreach services to Wimmera people who were affected by the February 2009 bushfires.

The funding is from the 2009 Bushfire Anniversary Health and Wellbeing Support Grants, recognising the 10-year anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires that devastated local communities.

The bushfires on Black Saturday burnt 2,500 hectares of land in the Wimmera, razed family homes at Haven and destroyed the Horsham Golf Club.

Louise Netherway, Support for Families and Community Manager, said it was possible the anniversary could spark anxiety, stress or trauma for people and communities who were affected by the fires, especially those that experienced significant loss.

“We will be providing additional mental health and counselling services until the end of February to address this need,” Mrs. Netherway said.

“Communities from Horsham Rural City, Northern Grampians, Hindmarsh, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack will have access to this support.

“We will also work alongside other local service providers to link people who need additional support into the services that can help.”

Mrs Netherway encouraged anyone who was needing someone to talk to or a little extra support at this time, to get in touch with Uniting Wimmera on 1800 195 114.