Bushfire Support

Wooroloo fire update

3 February 2021

The Department is working with Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) to ensure the safety of all staff and students affected by the Wooroloo fire.

Please visit DFES for all up to date warnings at emergency.wa.gov.au [1]

The Department will provide further advice for school and central services staff in fire affected areas as information becomes available.

Principals can access information and resources to help support staff and students affected by bushfire on Ikon [2]

The Employee Assistance program[3] is available for free confidential counselling with a psychologist. This service is available to all staff and their immediate family members who may be impacted by this current situation.

The Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund has been activated to assist those who have been impacted by the Perth bushfires. Donate now.

Referenced links

1. https://www.emergency.wa.gov.au/

2. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/-/support-students-and-staff-affected-by-bushfire

3. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/-/access-the-employee-assistance-program

NOTE: The Department of Education has released the following guide on how to support and assist staff and pupils impacted by the bushfires. Content from IKON.education.wa.edu.au dated 03/02/2021(DOWNLOAD PDF).

Support students and staff affected by bushfire

School psychologists can support students and staff affected by bushfires. Staff, students and families affected by a natural disaster may have:

  • homes and families in natural disaster areas
  • had to evacuate or seek shelter
  • seen the natural disaster close up
  • relatives and friends who have died or been injured
  • relative and friends who helped with rescue efforts
  • lost property, including homes and animals
  • experienced a similar event before
  • distressing feelings and thoughts
  • ongoing fears of future natural disasters.

Assess the support your school needs

Speak with your principal to determine what support your school community needs:

  • Use psychological first aid to assess the needs of students, families and the school community.
  • Contact your lead school psychologist for extra support.

When you assess the support someone needs:

  • know that everyone reacts differently
  • use the person’s reactions to guide your response and support their recovery.

People may need individual support:

  • some may experience a sense of grief and loss
  • a lesser number may have a trauma response or experience ongoing trauma.

Support school staff

You can help school staff by:

  • providing information to help them create a caring environment and support
  • listening if they want to talk about the impact they are experiencing
  • referring them to the Department’s Employee Assistance Program[1]

Support students

School leaders may ask you to:

  • support individual students
  • contact their parents
  • refer them to external services.

Students may see news or social media content that can:

  • cause distress and fears for safety
  • lead to positive feelings for first responders, volunteers and those who suffered losses.

It is unlikely this content will have a significant or ongoing impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Teachers and parents can help students by:

  • modelling how to respond to distressing events
  • answering questions
  • talking about events in an age appropriate way.

Families affected by natural disasters can access support through the Bushfire Recovery Access Program Program [2] for counselling and psychological support. It is part of the Australian Governmentmental health response to bushfire trauma health response to bushfire trauma [3].

Access resources

The Be You website hostsBushfire response: Resource pack for educators [4]. It has resources including:

  • how to deal with and manage distress in the immediate, short and long-term
  • a community trauma toolkit
  • how to talk to students about bushfires
  • the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

You can also access:

This information is provided by School Psychology Service[7]

This information can be found in these topics -Student wellbeing and mental health[8]

Contact information

School psychology service enquiries

Telephone Office: 9402 6430
Email: school.psychology.service@education.wa.edu.au

Department of Education Statewide Services Centre
33 Giles Avenue
Padbury WA 6025

Related links