Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Six months after Cyclone Debbie, life is far from normal

It's been half a year since Cyclone Debbie crossed the north Queensland coast, and many people in the cyclone's path still carry the emotional scars.

Australian Red Cross continues to walk alongside communities affected by the massive category four storm which caused widespread flooding along much of eastern Queensland and New South Wales, with rebuilding involving more than just repairing damage - it's about people's psychological wellbeing after a catastrophic event.

Six new staff have been employed to support the regional communities of Mackay, Whitsundays, Logan, Lismore and Tweed Heads as they recover.

"With so many people impacted by the event, we're still seeing a range of issues on the ground. We know that recovering from such an overwhelming experience can take a long time and can be complex," Red Cross Recovery Coordinator Kate Brady said.

"Recovering from an emergency can add to existing challenges in peoples lives, such as housing and financial stress, physical and mental health and relationships.

"Many businesses and households are still navigating quotes, repairs and rebuilding, which all bring challenges at the best of times.

"People may struggle with expectations that things should be back on track by now, but we know that recovery is a long process and there's no fixed point it can be said to be finished."

Red Cross is in communities running recovery and self-care workshops, advocating for the psychosocial and long-term recovery needs of communities to be considered, conducting outreach and building connections with local government and community service providers.

"In some communities, where people are ready to talk about 'next time', we have been asked to contribute to preparedness activities, working alongside other agencies to help individuals reduce the impact of future events."

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for the latest news and inspiring stories