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 Australian Bushfires

Article Date: 14 Oct 2010 – 6:00 PDT

Lessons learned from natural disasters, including the Black Saturday bushfires, Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, have helped shape a new web portal aimed at combating the psychological effects of large-scale emergencies, which will be launched this evening in Sydney by the Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

The Psychosocial Support in Disasters web portal provides health professionals working with disaster-affected individuals and communities with a step-by-step guide to disaster response and the psychological implications at each stage from Preparation through to Response and Recovery.

It is a joint initiative of the Australian Psychological Society, the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, Occupational Therapy Australia, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the Australian Association of Social Workers, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and General Practice Victoria.

‘A coordinated approach enhances disaster response and this website brings all the latest and most vital information from across the key agencies together in one place in an easily accessible format,’ President of the Australian Psychological Society Professor Bob Montgomery said.

He said Australia was home to many of the world’s leading disaster experts, many of whom had contributed their expertise to the site.

‘Australia is very vulnerable to natural disasters and there are few communities that wouldn’t be exposed to a natural disaster of some kind at some time so increasing the ability of our communities to prepare for, and recover from, disasters is a priority,’ Professor Montgomery said.

Read in Full:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/204589.php



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