For children and young people like Jack, the consequence of trauma like this can change the trajectory of their lives, impacting their mental health, education, and employment, in both the short and long term.
In the aftermath, the smoke lingered in Jack’s community for weeks meaning that it was impossible to play outside. When school went back, his teachers noticed that Jack was very withdrawn. He was quiet, struggled to concentrate and would startle easily.
As we know from UNICEF’s 75 years of experience helping children recover from crises all around the world, for many children, things do not just go back to normal once the danger has passed.
Some child survivors go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder which often takes months to emerge and can have debilitating lifelong consequences.
At UNICEF Australia, we want every child to get back to playing, feeling safe and having access to the right support network as soon as possible.