The Australian bushfire disaster of 2019-2020 had widespread impact on communities and individuals at a national level. The Australian National University Centre for Social Research and Methods undertook a large survey of the population to measure exposure and the impact on attitudes of the 2019-20 Australian Bushfires.
Between 20 January and 3 February 2020, the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods and the Social Research Centre collected data from more than 3,000 Australian adults about their exposure to the bushfires, as well as a range of other attitudes and beliefs. This is the first estimate of self-reported impacts on that scale from a nationally representative, probability-based survey.
The study estimates approximately 78% of the Australian population was impacted by the fires in direct or indirect ways through their family/friends, or through the physical effects of smoke. Further to that, it is estimated 2.9 million adult Australians had their property damaged, their property threatened, or had to be evacuated.
Exposure to traumatic content through direct impact or media coverage of the bushfires, anxiety and stress attributed by the bushfire disaster has been linked with negative mental health outcomes.
Read the full study from the Australian National University here.
If you have been impacted by the Australian Bushfires, a comprehensive list of support resources is available via https://lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/communities/support-for-those-impacted-by-adverse-events/mental-health-support-for-bushfire-affected-communities
For more on the latest in Australian research, visit the Life in Mind Research page.