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Support available for those affected by Perth bushfire

3 February 2021

As Perth battles a terrible bushfire that has claimed more than 70 homes, Lifeline WA is there to offer specialist support through a dedicated bushfire recovery phoneline.

The 13HELP (13 43 57) line was set up during last summer’s devastating bushfires in the eastern states and remains available for people affected by the current crisis in Perth.

All telephone crisis supporters on the 13HELP line have received additional specialist training on providing support to people affected by bushfires.

Lifeline WA CEO Lorna MacGregor said the experience gained last summer meant the service was well equipped to support people in need.

“The 13HELP line nationally has answered 93,400 calls since it was launched last year,” she said.

“Our telephone crisis supporters are experienced in dealing with this issue and are prepared to assist the people of Western Australia in these distressing circumstances.”

Ms MacGregor said the dangers from bushfires went beyond the physical threat.

“People who have experienced bushfires and other disasters are subject to extreme stress, which can lead to burnout and physical, mental and emotional exhaustion,” she said.

“We want to remind the community that if they’re affected by the fires, it’s not something they have to deal with alone, and we encourage anyone who needs support to call 13HELP.”

Ms MacGregor said the loss of their homes would have a devastating impact on the hills community.

“The people affected by this are facing an uncertain living situation, the loss of treasured items and potentially an impact on their financial future so they will need a great deal of support,” she said.

“It’s been encouraging to see West Australians act fast to offer shelter and support to people affected by this disaster, even in the midst of a pandemic lockdown.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by the bushfires, call Lifeline on 13HELP for specialist support.

Lifeline’s 24/7 telephone crisis support service is available on 13 11 14.