How to Engage with the ‘Black Summer’ TV Series and Documentary

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NSW communities impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires are considering how to engage with a new TV drama series and feature documentary based on the experiences of those challenging months.

‘Fires’ on ABC TV and iView and ‘The Fire Inside’, which opened in cinemas on Thursday (7th October) have been thoughtfully crafted but present an emotional challenge for first responders and their communities.

“The trauma that can come with being involved in these real-life events is deep and ongoing,” said Jae Lee, Psychologist and General Manager of Fortem Service Delivery.

“It’s wise to consider your level of engagement with media coverage and reporting of any traumatic event, these pictures and stories are powerful and do have the potential to deepen people’s hurt and grief.

“However, for some, sharing the stories of this time is important and watching and talking about these productions with others can help people process their thoughts and feelings.

“There is no right or wrong answer, but it’s wise to stop and reflect on whether or not you watch these productions and make a conscious decision that’s right for you.

“I’d encourage the community to keep talking with people they trust and if you find you need to speak to someone outside that inner circle, please reach out to one of the dedicated support services”, Ms Lee said.

Support services include:

  • Fortem Australia (for first responders and their families) - 1300 33 95 94
  • Beyond Blue - 1300 224 636
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Black Dog Institute - (02) 9382 2991
  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800

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