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Article | How to cope with anxiety this bushfire season

By Lina Ali posted 12-12-2023 10:42


With NSW, and the rest of Australia, bracing for what's predicted to be the worst bushfire season in years, it's important to remember that preparation is not just about hazard burning, having a fire survival plan, and stocking up on essentials; it's also about emotional readiness, particularly for our children 

Children are susceptible to the emotional upheavals that come with bushfire season. The increased attention from media and the flurry of discussions within communities can heighten their sense of insecurity and anxiety. Addressing these concerns is crucial and can be done effectively through open dialogue, age-appropriate education, and emotional support.

Open dialogue helps children articulate their fears and provides an opportunity for clarification, ensuring they are neither dismissive of the risks nor overwhelmed by them. Age-appropriate education can be a powerful tool in teaching children what bushfires are and how best to respond to them, offering practical knowledge that can alleviate anxiety. 

Emotional support should not be underestimated; the reassuring presence of an adult or structured school activities can offer a much-needed emotional buffer during turbulent times. 

As we navigate the challenges of the upcoming bushfire season, it is our collective responsibility - parents, educators, and community members - to ensure that our children are not just physically prepared but also emotionally equipped to face the uncertainties ahead. 

Source acknowledgement: insights for this article were inspired by guidelines focused on helping children manage anxiety related to bushfire, titled 'Looking After Children Who Are Anxious About Bushfire Season', published by the Australian Psychological Society. The guidelines can be read here

#Parenting #regional #Anxiety #MentalHealth #Remote #Rural #RRR #Wellbeing #Safety