Julia Stone partners with NRMA Insurance & Lifeline for bushfire mental health initiative
Australian musician Julia Stone has joined an initiative spearheaded by NRMA Insurance alongside Lifeline to highlight the continued need for mental health support for people affected by the Black Summer bushfires.
As part of the ‘Invisible Fires’ campaign, Stone has penned a bush poem, ‘Next To Me’ to shed light on the ongoing mental health trauma caused by the catastrophic event, as well as offer reassurance to those still struggling one year on.
Stone said the poem is personal to her, noting she is a trained mental health counsellor who volunteers as a hotline support worker, assisting people and families living with anxiety disorders.
“As I wrote in my poem, ‘You all saw it on the TV, but it still burns inside of me’, I want to highlight that it’s important we don’t forget about those who have been physically and mentally affected by the Black Summer bushfires, even though the world has moved on as we grapple with the effects of a global pandemic,” she said.
The poem is backed up by a video, which was crafted in collaboration with NRMA Insurance and its creative agency, Thinkerbell.
Lifeline Australia still gets more than 400 calls a day to its Bushfire Recovery Hotline, and the poem comes off the back of NRMA Insurance and RACV’s $2 million donation to the service. The donation will help provide video counselling support and community resilience training in bushfire-affected areas.
The executive general manager of IAG – NRMA Insurance’s parent company – Luke Gallagher said Stone’s beautiful poem is a reminder that help is still available.
Lifeline Australia’s chairman, John Brogden, added: “Julia Stone’s heartfelt poem will help people know that they do not need to suffer in silence. NRMA Insurance and RACV’s generous donation will enable us to extend our essential services for those mentally struggling from the Black Summer bushfires and other natural disasters including floods and COVID-19.”
If you are struggling and need support, reach out to someone you know or Lifeline Australia. Lifeline’s Crisis Supporters will continue to be available on the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on the 13 HELP Bushfire Recovery Line (13 43 57).