The bushfires in our region might have struck in November but the impacts are continuing to be felt.
Lifeline has launched a new dedicated bushfire recovery phone line to provide support to people affected by bushfires.
Since December last year Lifeline has recorded a 10% increase in calls to its 13 11 14 service, with call volume spiking at over 14% on some days.
Lifeline CEO John Brogden said the unprecedented increase warranted a tailored response so that the care and service referral provided is specific to the effects of bushfires and the needs of those impacted.
"From the calls that have come in, and from our teams on the ground, it's clear to us that people need to talk through their experience, they also need simple and clear information about what is available to them in their local community when they need it," he said.
Lifeline Mid North Coast service crisis support manager Di Bannister said "catastrophic events" can take years to overcome.
"Research from the Black Saturday fires in Victoria suggest it can take five years for people." she said.
Ms Bannister said while the fires might be out that can be "just the beginning of the struggle".
She said that the reason a dedicated bushfire recovery phone line had been set up, in addition to the Lifeline crisis support line, was because many people associate the crisis line with suicide.
"They say I know times are tough but I'm not thinking of suicide," she said.
Mental health can be neglected as bushfire survivors deal with a myriad of practical tasks to get back on their feet but Ms Bannister said people ignore it at their peril.
"You service a tractor because you know it will breakdown if you don't look after it," she said. "But your body will break down, your emotional resilience will breakdown same as a tractor if you don't look after it."