New mental health support for WA’s flood-affected Kimberley communities

Department of Home Affairs

​​​Joint media release with the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC and the Hon Sabine Winton MLA​​​

A new $14 million program to boost mental health and social support to flood-impacted individuals and communities in Western Australia’s Kimberley region will assist long­term recovery and community resilience.

Jointly funded by the Albanese and Cook Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), the
Kimberley Floods Community Social Recovery Program will expand the range of on-the-ground services and activities for those impacted by the significant flooding across the Kimberley earlier this year.

The types of assistance funded through the program include:

  • Mental health, well-being support and other psychosocial support services;
  • Case management for individuals and families with complex needs;
  • Dedicated staff providing legal assistance; and
  • Grants to enable the clean-up and restoration of operations for local service providers and community organisations, along with supporting community recovery and resilience activities and events.

The WA Department of Communities will coordinate the program, supported by the WA Department of Justice, and the WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries who will manage a Community Recovery Flexible Grants Program.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said the program would help address an important aspect of disaster recovery and resilience.

“We recognise the trauma experienced by everyone affected by this significant flood event, and understand that natural disasters can have lasting effects long after they’ve occurred,” Minister Watt said.

“By helping the Cook Government to deliver these services, we are making sure those people struggling with their social and emotional well-being have access to the right type of support they need for the long-term.

“Importantly, this program will also allow people to identify and seek funding for activities and events that build community resilience – because we know that connected communities are resilient communities.”

Western Australian Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson said the record flooding in the West Kimberley earlier this year has seen a need for significant social and legal support for affected individuals and communities.

“While infrastructure losses after disasters are highly visible, the psychological and social impacts can be less obvious but just as significant,” Minister Dawson said.

“That’s why we’ve been working closely with the Albanese Government to ensure impacted communities have access to culturally appropriate psychosocial support and grants for community-led recovery activities and events.”

Western Australian Community Services Minister Sabine Winton praised Kimberley locals who are leading the recovery on the ground.

“Fitzroy Crossing has strong local leaders, who know what’s best for their community,” Minister Winton said.

“The Cook and Albanese Governments are committed to supporting them to deliver the social and emotional wellbeing programs that are critical to long term recovery.”

More information about recovery assistance is available at

/Public Release. View in full here.