SchoolTV: Talking about Bushfires
From: Claire Melloy, Assistant Principal – Student Development
SCHOOL TV SPECIAL REPORT: Talking About Bushfires
The recent bushfire season in Australia has been catastrophic. It left in its wake a tragic loss of human life, native animals, livestock as well as many homes. Many families have been either exposed or affected, directly or indirectly, leaving many feeling overwhelmed and devastated. During such a traumatic event, children and teenagers are the most vulnerable. It is important to understand that they may not fully comprehend what they have seen either first-hand or in the media coverage. It can make them feel sad, anxious and stressed.
Whilst most will recover and resume normal functioning, there will be some young people who will be deeply affected and require psychological support. The University of Melbourne’s ‘Beyond Bushfire Project’ found that mental health problems doubled in recovering communities up to 3 or 4 years after a bushfire.
In order to support our young people during this time, it is also important for adults to manage their own shock, grief, anxiety and anger, before talking to kids about this tragedy.
In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be given some key strategies that can be implemented to support kids who feel scared or worried as a result of this traumatic event.
If you have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the College wellbeing team, or seek medical or professional help.