Coun­selling avail­able as bush­fire an­niver­sary ap­proaches

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Wim­mera res­i­dents will have ac­cess to coun­selling and sup­port ser­vices through Unit­ing Wim­mera as the 10-year an­niver­sary of the Black Saturday bush­fires ap­proaches.

Unit­ing Wim­mera will of­fer case man­age­ment, coun­selling and out­reach ser­vices to peo­ple af­fected by the Fe­bru­ary 2009 fires.

The ser­vices will be funded through the Bush­fire An­niver­sary Health and Well­be­ing Sup­port Grants pro­gram.

More than 2500 hectares of land in the Wim­mera were burnt dur­ing the bush­fires, in­clud­ing sev­eral fam­ily homes at Haven and the Hor­sham Golf Club.

Unit­ing Wim­mera sup­port for fam­i­lies and com­mu­nity man­ager Louise Nether­way said the an­niver­sary could be a trau­matic and stress­ful time for peo­ple af­fected by the fires, es­pe­cially those who ex­pe­ri­enced sig­nif­i­cant loss.

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

Mrs Nether­way said com­mu­ni­ties from Hor­sham Ru­ral City, North­ern Grampians, Hind­marsh, West Wim­mera and Yar­ri­ambi­ack mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties would have ac­cess to the sup­port.

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

Mrs Nether­way en­cour­aged any­one who needed some­one to talk to or needed sup­port to call Unit­ing Wim­mera on 1800 195 114.

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