Beyond Blue's Be You Bushfire Response Program finalist for national award

Beyond Blue's Be You Bushfire Response Program has been nominated as a finalist for the 2021 Resilient Australia Mental Health and Wellbeing Award, with the winner set to be announced in Melbourne on Wednesday, 8 December.

The Resilient Australia Awards are hosted by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) and sponsored by the Australian Government in partnership with the states and territories, and celebrate and promote initiatives which foster community resilience to disasters and emergencies.

The program, developed in response to the Black Summer fires, provides mental health support to early learning services and schools affected by bushfires.

Led by Beyond Blue in partnership with Early Childhood Australia, headspace and Emerging Minds, the program assisted more than 480 learning communities affected by the 2019/2020 fires.

The program offered specialist trauma support and guidance, recovery planning and service mapping to address the ongoing mental health impacts of the bushfires and cumulative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, floods and drought.

Beyond Blue Chief Community Officer Patrice O'Brien said the program recognised the crucial role of early learning services and schools in promoting positive mental health and their influence on strengthening disaster recovery and resilience in local communities.

"We are absolutely honored by the nomination of the Be You Bushfire Response Program for this award," Ms O'Brien said.

"At Beyond Blue, we are immensely proud of the work by all organisations involved in delivering the program and deeply moved by the resilience shown by each learning community we work with.

"Beyond Blue is humbled to be shortlisted for this award with nominees that have shown an incredible level of innovation and compassion across the country supporting those doing it tough."

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