Journal article

The dynamic course of psychological outcomes following the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires

Richard A Bryant, Lisa Gibbs, H Colin Gallagher, Phillipa Pattison, Dean Lusher, Colin MacDougall, Louise Harms, Karen Block, Greg Ireton, John Richardson, David Forbes, Robyn Molyneaux, Meaghan O'Donnell



OBJECTIVES: To profile the long-term mental health outcomes of those affected by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and to document the course of mental health since the disaster. METHOD: The longitudinal Beyond Bushfires study included 1017 respondents (Wave 1; 3-4 years after the fires), 736 (76.1%) at Wave 2 (5 years after the fires) and 525 (51.6%) at Wave 3 (10 years after the fires). The survey indexed fire-related and subsequent stressful events, probable posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, alcohol use, severe distress and receipt of health services for mental health problems. RESULTS: Relative to their status 3-4 years after the fires, there were reduced rates of..

View full abstract


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: The original Beyond Bushfires study was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP100200164) including financial and in-kind contributions from Linkage partners Victorian Department of Health, Australian Red Cross, Australian Rotary Health, Australian Government Department of Human Services (Centrelink), Phoenix Australia: Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, and six Primary Care Partnerships: Central Hume, Bendigo Loddon, North East, Outer East, Central West Gippsland, Lower Hume. Additional salary support from the Jack Brockhoff Foundation is also acknowledged. The 10 years Beyond Bushfires study (Wave 3) was funded by Emergency Management Victoria, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Australian Red Cross.