Flood crisis: GPs fear mental health funding shortfall

DIVISIONS of general practice working in flood-affected communities have welcomed a further $1.3 million in funding for Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS), but warn more will be needed to cope with the ongoing trauma and mental distress of the flood victims.

The additional funding, announced yesterday, will be available to divisions of general practice dealing with flood-affected communities.

The Acting Minister for Health and Aging, Mark Butler, said the Federal Government had no doubt the floods would cause lasting mental health ramifications for some residents in flood-affected areas.

“Trauma reactions to natural disasters, such as floods, may occur immediately after the event or in the weeks and months following, and some people will require mental health support,” he said.

“It is important that we reach out to flood victims and provide vital services for their recovery.