Introducing Metro North’s new Disaster Recovery Team

Pictured: (left to right) Kylie Whyte, Wendy Rodgers, Joe Farrow, Subrina Uitime, Jo Flear, and Timna Wright of the Metro North Disaster Recovery Team.

The recent flooding in the Moreton Bay area is a timely reminder that floods in Queensland are a regular occurrence, albeit one that causes devastating loss and ongoing distress within our communities.

The new Metro North Disaster Recovery Team or DRT has been established to provide psychosocial support to those affected by floods.
Joanne Flear is heading up the Disaster Recovery Team, with three multidisciplinary mental health clinicians Timna Wright, (Nurse), Wendy Rodgers, (Psychologist) and Joe Farrow, (Nurse), with Kylie Whyte (Director of Allied Health) as the Executive Sponsor.

“The DRT provide screening, specialised clinical interventions and community partnerships to support the mental health of flood affected persons within the Metro North Health Service district,” said Joanne.

“Specifically, we offer confidential, outreach based, assessment and trauma informed support to person’s affected by the 2021-22 floods. Affected community members of all ages are also able to access a select range of support programs offered by the team, designed to aid in managing disaster related trauma and loss.

“The DRT offer individualised support as well as stepped care referral pathways to key council and community-based organisations. In addition, we also provide education and training to staff from community support organisations including Psychological First Aid and Mental Health First Aid-Adults; Trauma Informed Care, and Birdie’s Tree Universal Resource Training.”

The DRT have affectionately adopted the paper boat as their mascot.

“The paper boat relates to all ages – despite being made of paper, and fragile, it can stay afloat in water – showing how vulnerable, yet resilient, we can all be in challenging times. Just like the paper boat, we can stay afloat when we least feel it, and make it to safety with a little support,” said Joanne.

One of the programs proudly supported by the DRT is the Queensland Children’s Hospital Birdie’s Tree children’s resources.

“The colourful and beautifully illustrated Birdie’s Tree books follow Birdie and Mr Frog through many disasters. The evidence-based books are designed to lessen the traumatic impact of disaster events on children,” said Joanne.

“Each story helps to restore hope and encourage resilience in a young mind. The Birdie’s Tree program is essential to building resilience in children impacted by disaster.”

The DRT support the entire Metro North district and are based at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) campus in the TPCH Community Health Building.

2024-03-01T17:05:55+10:001 March 2024|
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