Click here to view the flood recovery information for the community

Flood recovery for health care professionals

It is common to experience a range of intense emotions following a traumatic event like a natural disaster. Some people may have experienced the event physically, and others who may be affected in other ways whether it be concern about family and friends, hearing about people’s experiences during flooding, or extra workloads caused by the adverse weather event.

Mental health resources

There are a number of mental health and wellbeing resources available for use by health care workers, as outlined below.

RACGP – Managing emergencies

The RACGP Managing emergencies in general practice: a guide for preparation, response and recovery contains a section focusing on mental health and self-care for GPs and practice staff.

ACCRM – Natural disaster: readiness and recovery

ACCRM has a section on their website dedicated to assisting with minimising the impact of crises and natural disasters.  It should help it’s members and their communities, in part, towards a speedy recovery to return to normal practice functions in the aftermath of a disaster.

Pharmacy Guild Queensland – Pharmacists’ Support Service

Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is available to provide support over the phone to any pharmacist, intern, or pharmacy student who may be stressed in the current situation in Townsville and surrounding FNQ areas affected by the floods. The service offers a listening ear and the opportunity to debrief with a pharmacist colleague. Often in these types of situations it is after the crisis that people start to feel the impact and need some extra support.

The Pharmacists’ Support Service is available 7am to 10pm (in Queensland at present) on 1300 244 910 every day of the year. For more information: www.supportforpharmacists.org.au.

APNA – Nurse Support Line

Nurse Support Line is a national support service for primary health care nurses, providing access to professional advice and guidance. Call (03) 9669 7450 or contact nursesupport@apna.asn.au for assistance.

Nurse and Midwife Support is a 24/7 national support service for nurses and midwives, nursing and midwifery students, employers, educators and concerned family and friends. Nurse and Midwife Support provide confidential advice and referral, promote better health for nurses, midwives and students, and safer care for the public. Get help now and call 1800 667 877.

EAP – AccessEAP

Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) is offering free counselling support for all GPs and their practice staff in the Townsville Hospital and Health Service (HHS) area through EAP.

To access this confidential service, please contact AccessEAP on 1800 818 728 and cite you are using the service through NQPHN as a non-NQPHN staff member. For more information on AccessEAP, visit their website at www.accesseap.com.au

Counselling support posters have been developed for display in practices/pharmacies to advise staff of the EAP services available. Download the GP poster here and the pharmacy poster here.

Phoenix Australia – Queensland Floods Practitioner Advice Line on Mental Health

Phoenix Australia, through Federal Government funding, is providing immediate term assistance with the mental health response to Queensland floods by offering a free hotline to enable practitioners to receive direct and timely advice, support and guidance from a panel of medical and allied health experts on their work with community members with mental health issues following disaster. The Queensland Floods Practitioner Advice Line is a dedicated and free service providing expert multidisciplinary support and guidance to health practitioners, support organisations, and others working with those affected by disaster-related mental health issues.

Public health

Environmental conditions after floods increase the risk for infectious diseases. Please click the links to read communications from Townsville Public Health Director Dr Steven Donohue regarding wounds exposed to muddy water and environmental bacteria.

Financial assistance

The Federal and State Governments have activated the ‘Category B disaster assistance’ for small business affected by the monsoon event in North Queensland. The disaster assistance includes concessional loans of up to $250,000 and essential working capital loans of up to $100,000 for small businesses in the Townsville local government area.

Small business owners impacted by flooding can call the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) on 1800 623 946 for assistance and information on the concessional loans that are available.

The Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments.

Access the North Queensland monsoon event survey at www.business.qld.gov.au/

Queensland Reconstruction Authority www.qra.qld.gov.au

Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority www.qrida.qld.gov.au

Other recovery and support resources

  • Bush Support Line: 1800 805 391 (for rural doctors and other health workers)
  • 13 QGOV (13 74 68): access and support to Queensland Government services (housing, water, education etc.)
  • 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84): a confidential phone service that provides health advice from a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Related links

For more information on disaster resources and advice, please visit the cyclone and flood information page.

For more information on the situation in Townsville, please visit disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au