There are several key factors that could be impacting people as communities approach the first anniversary of a bushfire disaster.
Clinical and consultant psychologist David Younger, who has extensive experience providing support and assistance to communities impacted by natural disasters, was speaking in the lead up to the anniversary of the Black Summer fires which devastated the Far South Coast.
He said these key effects were disruption to normal life, stress, loss and financial consequences, and he has provided advice on managing each of them.
After a fire, he said, life can be disrupted practically and socially, for instance a fire survivor may have to move to a new house so it takes longer to drop their children to school and they no longer are able to talk to their old neighbours.
"Don't allow recovery-related disruption to take over your life," he said.
"Keep other things at the forefront of your lives, for example relationships with loved ones."
This disruption causes stress and Mr Younger said it was important to note last summer's fires were unprecedented in their length of time, then "before people had a chance to catch their breath" the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown began, complicating lives even further.
LISTEN TO MR YOUNGER SPEAK TO BEYOND BLUE:Preparing for the first summer after bushfire
"Find a speed and pace for recovery that suits you, because you need to conserve energy for the duration," he said.
"Unfortunately, recovery is typically a journey that occurs over years."
He said what commonly happens after a disaster is that there is an assumption that the level of loss equates to material loss, but there were many different types of loss.
For example, a farmer that lost their livestock or a person that lost a relationship.
"Don't make assumptions about the extent of another person's loss," he said.
Mr Younger said after a disaster people tended to start working hard to make up for a financial loss, but this meant they risked running themselves into the ground and tiring themselves out.
"Keeping focus on life's priorities is important," he said.
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Bega Headspace: 1800 959 844
Bega Valley Shire Council's Bushfire Recovery Support Service (Case management and person to person support for everyone impacted by the 2020 Bega Valley Bushfire): 6499 2345 or email@example.com