When major events occur, it is very common for us to experience a range of thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical responses that are not usual, such as poor focus and concentration, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty sleeping or feeling sad for no apparent reason.  These can be confusing and add further to the distress already being experienced.

Be assured that these are not unusual or alarming, but rather are normal reactions to an extraordinary situation.

These are not signs of weakness but normal reactions to an abnormal event. These reactions are generally at their worst in the first week or two after the incident. In most cases they will diminish over the following weeks, although some may experience them for a longer period. If at any time these reactions seriously affect your ability to participate in day to day activities at home or at work it is important to seek assistance immediately.

Following a major event it is important to have access to an environment where you feel safe and secure. The sooner you can regain your sense of safety and control the sooner your wellbeing will start to improve.

The following steps may assist you to make the recovery more manageable for you and those close to you:

  • Spend time with your family and friends – allow them to support you emotionally
  • Keep in contact with others even though you may feel like isolating yourself
  • Allow others to help you – accept help when it is offered
  • Limit the amount of exposure you have to media coverage of the incident
  • Try to return to a normal routine as soon as you can (this is particularly important if you have children)
  • Think about your health – get plenty of rest, eat a balanced diet and get some regular exercise, even if just a short walk
  • Take time out to do some things you enjoy


 Helpful Information

Helpful Information

Links to advice about self-care, help lines, dealing with insurers, sleeping better and other useful links.
 Helping Others

Helping Others

Links for helping to supports others after a disaster and guidance for supervisors and HR Staff.


 Guidance for Supervisors

Guidance for Supervisors and HR Staff

Tools and resources for supporting Employees.
 QLD Government Information

Government Information

Links for the QLD Government, Brisbane City Council, Ipswich City Council and Toowoomba City Council.

Staff Support Information Disasters and Critical Incidents section

Government Information

Queensland, Brisbane City Council, Ipswich City Council, Toowoomba City Council and Department of Communities websites.

Guidance for Supervisors and HR Staff

The University’s Employee Assistance Provider offers a Manager Assist service, prov...

Helpful Information

Links to advice about self-care, help lines, coping with disasters and critical incidents and sleeping better.

Helping Others

Information and resources to assist you to support others after a disaster.

Supporting Others After a Disaster

Australian Government Disaster Assist Information Australian Psych...
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