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Employee Assistance Program

Whether directly affected or worrying about family and friends in bushfire areas, there is no predictability in reactions to the bushfire situation.

Each one of us experiences a differing response from anger to anxiety. Be aware that your feelings are a normal response to an abnormal situation, and there are options available to help.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to listen to you and provide confidential advice, support, and information. If you have been affected by the bushfires, additional sessions may be available to you. You can speak to your counsellor about accessing the additional sessions. Your immediate family can also access support under the EAP.

Help for former Family and Community Services staff

Call Converge on 1300 687 327 or email

Help for former Justice staff

Call Benestar on 1300 360 364 or email

Help for staff on the ground

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has arranged EAP support for all NSW Government employees working on-the-ground in bushfire locations.

The counsellors are provided through Converge and you are welcome to speak with them if they are available when you’re in an evacuation centre.

If you experience any issues accessing a counsellor, you can also use the service as a DCJ employee. You will need to verify your employee details and use the approval reference: DCJ – Bushfire Response, approved by: Jodie Earnshaw, Manager Safety and Wellbeing.

Manager Assist

If you see or become aware of any uncharacteristic behaviour or changes with your staff, see it as a prompt for offering further support, and possibly, additional professional help.

Remember– if you are unsure what to do, you as the manager can access Manager Assist through EAP to talk over concerns you may have about any team member.

Helpful resources

It’s important to look after your mental health and remember to check in with your friends, family and colleagues.

Here are links to tools to help you watch for signs of stress and cope after a natural disaster.

NSW Health: Bushfire Mental health support
Lifeline: Recovering after a natural disaster
Beyond Blue: Bushfires and mental health
Rural Adversity Mental Health Program

The department’s Employee Assistance Providers also have a range of useful resources available on their websites:

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Last updated: 15 Jan 2020