The recent flood emergency in NSW has had an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of individuals and communities across the state. With 27% of people living in flood affected areas speaking a language other than English at home, many people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) will be feeling the impact of the floods.
It is important to look after your mental health and that of the community at this time. This page provides links to information and resources for CALD communities and those working with CALD communities to assist in managing the mental health impacts of the floods.
It is normal to feel distress, fear and a sense of helplessness following a disaster. Some people from CALD communities may be more vulnerable to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder following the recent floods.
This may be due to:
- Social isolation and lack of community support networks
- Limited English proficiency and access to support services
- Low socio-economic status to support post-disaster recovery
- Traumatic past experiences that may resurface and create retraumatisation.
Conversely, research has found that many people from CALD communities may see past adverse experiences as a source of resilience and strength that allows them to cope better with crisis. Furthermore, pulling together and helping others in need during a natural disaster such as the floods can allow people from CALD communities to bond more closely with their neighbours and wider community.
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For general information on disaster assistance in NSW call the Service NSW Disaster Customer Care Service on 13 77 88 or visit the NSW Government Disaster Relief website.
Lifeline 13 11 14
Visit the Lifeline website here
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
Visit the Kids Helpline website here
Beyond Blue 1800 51 23 48
Visit the Beyond Blue website here
NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you need an interpreter please call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 and ask them to ring the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.
NSW Rural Adversity Mental Health Program
The NSW Rural Adversity Mental Health Program links people to local mental health services and resources, we educate workplaces and communities about mental health and wellbeing and we respond in times of natural disasters and severe adversity. Click here to visit their website.
Western Sydney MRC - Short term rapid response
Western Sydney MRC is providing a short term rapid response to those impacted by the floods.
For more information visit the Western Sydney MRC website here.
For Temporary Visa Short term Rapid Response Flood Relief call 8778 1200
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Transcultural Mental Health Centre
Help for you and your family after disasters. Arabic (PDF 152KB)
Help for you and your family after disasters. English (PDF 47KB)
Help for you and your family after disasters. Hindi (PDF 62KB)
Help for you and your family after disasters. Indonesian (PDF 47KB)
Help for you and your family after disasters. Japanese (PDF 147KB)
Help for you and your family after disasters. Korean (PDF 187KB)
Help for you and your family after disasters. Russian (PDF 140KB)
Help for you and your family after disasters. Simplified Chinese (PDF 241KB)
Help for you and your family after disasters. Tamil (PDF 70KB)
Help for you and your family after disasters. Thai (PDF 147KB)
Help for you and your family after disasters. Traditional Chinese (PDF 270KB)
English versions of our resources
Disaster Assistance Payments – Audio
Available in Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Dari, Hazaragi, Korean, Kurdish – Kurmanji, Macedonian, Persian/Farsi, Vietnamese
Disaster Recovery Allowance
Available in Arabic, Assyrian, Chaldean, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Khmer, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Turkish, Vietnamese
Floodwater can make you sick – social media tiles
Available in Arabic, Assyrian, Bengali, Bosnian, Burmese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Dari, Dinka, English, Farsi, Filipino, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Kinyarwanda, Korean, Kurdish Kurmanji, Kurdish Sorani, Lao, Macedonian, Malay, Mongolian, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Samoan, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Tongan, Turkish Vietnamese and Urdu
Helping a friend or family member after a disaster available in Arabic , Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Vietnamese
Helping children after trauma available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Vietnamese
Helping yourself after disaster available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Vietnamese
Queensland Government, Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service
Birdie and the flood: Story books to help children manage their feelings and fears during and after a natural disaster. Available in French, Kinyarwanda, Karen, Sango, Somali, Swahili, German, Greek
Additional translated Birdie stories about Coronavirus, Cyclone, Drought and Fire
Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre
Coping personally after major disasters and cyclones - available in Croatian (PDF 112KB), English (PDF 90KB), Greek (PDF 233KB), Hmong (PDF 90KB), Italian (PDF 100KB), Maltese (PDF 160KB), Punjabi (PDF 227KB), Tagalog (PDF 90KB)
Psychological responses to traumatic stress: What to expect - available in English (PDF 108KB), Greek (PDF 1.1MB), Hmong (PDF 107KB), Italian (PDF 110KB), Maltese (PDF 167KB), Punjabi (PDF 757KB)
Coping with a disaster: Information for times of stress - available in Croatian (PDF 954KB), English (PDF 103KB), Greek(PDF 455KB), Hmong (PDF 419KB), Italian (PDF 103KB), Maltese (PDF 524KB), Punjabi (PDF 390KB), Tagalog (PDF 419KB)
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Chandonnet, A (2021) Emergency Resilience in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities Challenges and Opportunities Australian Red Cross https://www.redcross.org.au/globalassets/cms-migration/documents/emergency-services/arc-cald-resilience.pdf
Correa-Velez, I. & Conteh, A. (2013) Displaced twice? Talking about resilience with a cohort of men from refugee backgrounds who were affected by the 2011 Queensland floods. 9th Annual International Conference of the International Institute for Infrastructure Renewal and Reconstruction, Risk-informed Disaster Management: Planning for Response, Recovery and Resilience https://eprints.qut.edu.au/76144/4/76144.pdf
Correa-Velez, I., Mcmichael, C. & Conteh, A. (2014). Levels of social trust among men from refugee backgrounds after the 2011 Queensland floods. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment 5(3), pp. 318-328.
Multicultural Development Association (2011) Submission to the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry 4 April 2011 http://www.floodcommission.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/file/0016/7126/Multicultural_Development_Association.pdf
Osman, M., Hornblow, A., Macleod, S. and Coope, P., (2012) Christchurch earthquakes: How did former refugees cope. New Zealand Medical Journal, 125(1357), pp.113-121.
Solangaarachchi, D., Griffin, A. L. & Doherty, M. D. (2012). Social vulnerability in the context of bushfire risk at the urban-bush interface in Sydney: a case study of the Blue Mountains and Ku-ring-gai local council areas. Natural hazards, 64, 1873-1898. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11069-012-0334-y
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