Facts Sheets

Below is important information and fact sheets to help you through the tough times. Please feel free to contact us if you need any more information and help.

beyondblue Resources

Download the following PDF flyers for help on how to cope after a natural disaster.

People may be at risk of developing depression and anxiety after experiencing a traumatic event like a bushfire, flood, cyclone or earthquake. 

Normal reactions

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Feeling numb and detached

  • Inability to focus

  • Inability to plan ahead

  • Constant tearfulness

  • Intrusive memories or bad dreams related to the event

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Constant questioning - "What if I had done x, y or z, instead?"

  • 'Replaying' the event and inventing different outcomes in order to be prepared should it happen again.

These reactions can be severe and are at their worst in the first week, however, in most cases, they fade over a month. If a person's day-to-day functioning is seriously affected for more than two months after the event, it's important to discuss it with a GP or mental health professional.


Red Cross resources

Download the following PDFs on disaster recovery:

Emergencies by their very nature are disruptive and can be very stressful. What you, your family or friends have experience is a unique and personal event. It's normal to have a range of feelings in reaction to an abnormal situation like this.

With time, and some simple steps, most people will cope well with the stress of the emergency. Some people may need additional help to get through. 

Red Cross have a range of disaster recovery resources available at http://www.redcross.org.au/emergency-resources.aspx


What is anxiety?

We all experience anxiety from time to time, it is a natural reaction to high-pressure and stressful situations, for example meeting deadlines, public speaking, or even doing something new and different. But it can be hard to know when your anxiety is becoming too much. Some people experience anxious feelings for no apparent reason and they continue after the stressful event has passed.

Anxiety is more than a stressed or worried feeling, it is when those feelings don’t stop, when they continue and exist without a reason or cause. Anxiety is a serious condition that can affect your daily life and make it hard to cope. Someone who is diagnosed with anxiety finds it difficult to control these feelings.

What causes anxiety?

The cause of anxiety is different for everyone but it often develops from a combination of factors rather than one issue or event. Causes may include a family history of mental health problems; ongoing stressful events; physical health problems; substance use; or even personality factors. 

Every person is different and you can’t always find the cause of anxiety. The most important thing is to recognise the signs and symptoms, and seek support.

What are the symptoms?

Anxiety symptoms are not always obvious as the often develop over time, and because we all experience anxiety from time to time it is hard to know how much is too much. 

Common symptoms include:

  • hot and cold flushes

  • racing heart

  • tightening of the chest

  • snowballing worries

  • obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviour.

These are some of the symptoms you might experience. If you experience any of these symptoms for more than a few days seek a health professional. 

Download Anxiety Fact Sheet

Source: beyondblue and Health Direct Australia


What is depression? 

Everyone feels down from time to time but when you’re depressed that feeling of sadness is more intense and can last for weeks, months, or even years, and can occur for no apparent reason.

Depression is more than just a low mood, it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health. 

What are the symptoms?

Depression affects men and women, young and old. It affects how you feel about yourself, you might lose interest in doing things you normally enjoy, have irritable feelings and find it hard to concentrate.

Depression makes everyday tasks more difficult.  

Symptoms include: a lack of confidence; feelings of fatigue; a lack energy; difficulty sleeping; no appetite or sex drive; and complaints of aches and pains. Depression can make you feel anxious and tearful, yet it is more like a feeling of numbness than sadness.  

If you have had the below symptoms for more than two weeks consult your local GP.

  • Felt sad, down or miserable for most of the time

  • Lost interest or pleasure in most of your usual activities

What causes depression?

There is no apparent cause of depression yet there are many things linked to its development. Life changing events such as bereavement; loss of employment; family history; drug and alcohol abuse; serious medical illness; and even having a baby can cause depression. You can also become depressed for no reason at all. 

Everyone is vulnerable to depression; in Australia one in four women and one in six men experience an episode of clinical depression in their life.  

Depression is a diagnosable illness.

How to recover from depression?

Most people can make a full recovery from depression but there is no proven way to recover, and it’s different for everyone. There is a range of effective treatments, health professionals, and things you can do for yourself that can help you recover and stay well.   

Treatments include psychological: talking to a health professional, medical: antidepressants and other medicine, eating well and exercising, and generally taking care of your body and mind.   

Focussing on the positives and doing the things that make you feel good will also help.   

If you have the above symptoms you might be depressed, seek help from a doctor or talk to one of our Outreach Workers.

Download Depression Fact Sheet

Source: beyondblue and Health Direct Australia