SIT, LIS­TEN AND CARE TO HELP

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

UN­FOR­TU­NATELY, it is that time of year again – bush­fire sea­son. The South-West fire was not the first and we are gut-wrench­ingly aware that it will not be the last. The word bush­fire means so much more than what we ini­tially think. Yes, it is typ­i­cally a dev­as­tat­ing fire; but for those who have ex­pe­ri­enced the fires, the word sim­ply means “loss”. The loss of life, house, an­i­mals, iden­tity, com­fort, pho­tos, safety and se­cu­rity – the list is end­less. The losses are of­ten tan­gi­ble and in­tan­gi­ble – some can be eas­ily re­placed, while oth­ers can never be re­placed. In times of loss, peo­ple need a few things – yes, they need shel­ter, clothes, food and so forth. But they also need friends, a shoul­der (or two) to cry on, some­one to share their sto­ries and mem­o­ries with. They need peo­ple will­ing to lis­ten to their plight and of­fer a hug with­out want­ing any­thing in re­turn. They need some­one will­ing to sim­ply sit, lis­ten and care. Are you pre­pared to of­fer a place to stay, pro­vide some sup­port (of­fer a couch or a bed, driv­ing, child mind­ing, tea and coffee mak­ing, lis­ten­ing) when peo­ple are in need? Are you pre­pared to sit, lis­ten and care? The fi­nan­cial cost of fire is high, but the men­tal cost of loss is much greater. If you need some­one to talk to or if you are able to pro­vide a shoul­der, call Angli­care Emer­gency Re­lief WA on 9325 7033 or Life­line on 13 11 14.

Amanda Lambros, coun­sel­lor and Curtin Univer­sity clin­i­cal fel­low.

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