Social and community services
Many government and community-based services provide assistance for families suffering from the emotional and physical effects of drought. This covers a variety of problems, ranging from depression and stress-related health symptoms to domestic violence and substance abuse.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Drought Hotline, 1800 025 656, is a good start for referral to your local support services.
The Department of Communities has a telephone service that can refer you to your local support services: Freecall 1800 501 307.
24-hour 13 11 14 Crisis Counselling Line and a range of face-to-face counselling services in Lifeline Centres throughout Queensland. In many areas, Lifeline Centres provide specific rural counselling and support programs. Contact your local centre through the White Pages for further information. Nationally, Lifeline also operates Just Ask, a rural mental health and information service that recently released a resource pamphlet on getting through the drought. Phone Lifeline's Just Ask on 1300 13 11 14.
- Bush Connection
Supports rural families who are facing financial difficulties by providing assistance to address any immediate crisis and implement an action plan to work towards a
positive future. This free and confidential support may include counselling, referral to financial and legal support, information and advocacy. Contact the Bush Connection on 07 4638 0135.
- Salvation Army
Salvo Care Line offers telephone counselling 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Whatever crisis or difficult situation you are in, the Salvo Care Line has trained counsellors in place to listen, support, advise and refer when needed. Telephone at the cost of a local call 1300 36 36 22.
- Relationships Australia
Provides confidential counselling and family support services to help relieve the pressure placed on family relationships during tough times. Relationships Australia can help with personal support, problem solving, coping with stress, parenting issues, managing family conflict, etc. To contact regional branches of Relationships Australia, telephone 1300 364 277, or 1800 176 002 in the Darling Downs region.
- Kids Helpline
A national 24-hour telephone counselling service for children and young people (ages 5 to 18). Freecall 1800 55 1800.
- Women's Infolink
Provides a free, confidential information and referral service Queensland-wide about community services and Government organisations that exist to support women. Freecall 1800 177 577.
- The Farm & Rural Legal Service
Provides advice and assistance to Queensland rural producers who have severe debt-related problems or are in dispute with their lenders, or are otherwise facing financial hardship that relates to their business of primary production. Two Farm & Rural Legal Service lawyers are based in the Toowoomba office of Legal Aid Queensland and travel throughout the state. For more information, contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88.
- The Telstra Bill Assistance Program
Offers short-term emergency relief to residential customers if you are unable to pay your Telstra fixed home telephone bill. The program is administered by national welfare organisations, which issue certificates to eligible residential customers that can be used to assist in paying their home phone accounts. Participating welfare agencies include Anglicare, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul and The Smith Family. Contact your nearest branch of one of these agencies for further information.
- Local doctors, clergy, hospitals or community health centres can also help.