Document / Publication
University of Melbourne
A five-year study analyzing the health and wellbeing impacts of the Black Saturday Bushfires in Australia tracked the interplay between mental health and social connections of natural disaster survivors. The results should inform efforts by government, emergency services, community agencies and communities to prepare for future disasters and develop effective recovery services.
The research explored individuals’ responses to family, social and community influences, and how these relationships affected their recovery. While the report confirmed impressive resilience and community spirit, many people suffered delayed trauma, and a quarter of study participants in high-impact communities still had serious mental health problems three to four years later.