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Bourke St: Caring for our own

Posted 25 January 2017

The Bourke St rampage in which five people were killed and more than 35 injured is a tragedy. It is also a reminder to all Victorian health workers of the importance of self care, VHA CEO Tom Symondson said today.

“While our thoughts are primarily with the victims from Friday’s city horror, the tragedy engulfed our city and many of our health services and affects us all.

“We are very proud of our health workers who swung into action in an emergency situation to care for those who needed it.

“Health workers are trained to care for others but so often forget their own emotional welfare. It is a reminder to never forget to check on who is caring for the carer,” he said.

The State Government’s Better Health Channel has issued support for health workers reassuring them there are many things anyone caught up in a trauma can do to help cope and recover.

“As a result of a traumatic experience that causes a threat to our safety and potentially places our own life or the lives of others at risk, a person experiences high levels of emotional, psychological, and physical distress that temporarily disrupt their ability to function normally in day-to-day life.”

If you were involved in the events in Bourke St Mall on Friday 20 January, or are distressed by news or social media coverage, professional support, advice or help recovering is available.

Where to get help:

  • For support or to donate to The Bourke Street Fund click here.
  • Victims of Crime Support Hotline 1800 819 817
  • Road Trauma Support Services Victoria 1300 367 797 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm)
  • Vic Emergency Hotline 1800 226 226
  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • GriefLine 1300 845 745
  • BeyondBlue 1300 224 636


  • It is normal to have strong reactions following a distressing or frightening event, but these should begin to reduce after a few weeks.
  • People can experience a range of physical, mental, emotional and behavioral reactions
  • There are many things you can do to cope with and recover from trauma.
  • Seek professional help if you don’t begin to return to normal after three or four weeks.

Source: Better Health Channel


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