Caring for Australian Wildlife Carers

Wildlife rescue and care is a mentally and physically challenging job. Those that work in the sector witness animal suffering and death. Not every rescue has a happy ending.

Caring for Our Carers

Where to get mental health support:


An easy to use list of options to find the right mental health support services in person, on line or by phone.

There is free mental health support for everyone. There is no pressure to talk. but don’t let the reason not to talk be because you don’t know where to access help.


The Take Care to Give Care Guide:

Wildlife Heroes has partnered with the charity Two Green Threads to help care for the health of Australia’s 10,000+ wildlife carers. Two Green Threads is a registered charity with a mission ‘to empower and energise the lives of those that care for wildlife.


It’s founder Suzy Nethercott- Watson says, ‘wildlife care makes huge demands on people’s mental and physical resources. Carers need to replenish their reserves and build mental fitness to avoid burnout or dropout.’


Volunteers who rescue injured native animals are often overlooked as ‘first responders’, a category that usually makes us think of firefighters, surf lifesavers or ambulance officers.


Wildlife rescuers are highly skilled operators that are often put into traumatic, unpredictable and risky situations. Just like other first responders, workplace hazards and mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and PTSD, are part of the landscape and the all too frequent downside of rescue work.

The Wildlife Heroes Caring for Carers program includes a package of online health resources, podcasts and vaccination grants. The package has been designed for the wildlife volunteer sector but will include elements that will be also useful to vets and vet nurses.


The program was developed in response to both the recent summer wildlife emergencies and the increasing incidence of compassion fatigue and trauma observed in wildlife carers.


Visit Two Green Threads.

Bushfire recovery resources for wildlife volunteers:

Humans can be resilient when they have support around them.  Five printable guides provide practical advice about how to draw on and develop skills to enable us to continue on in the face of hardship. Reading these may offer some ideas on how to reach out and engage in conversations that can build social threads of support and connection. You are not alone. We are stronger when we stand together. Topics covered in the guides:

Managing Emotional Distress
Importance of Social Connection
Helpful Thinking
Problem Solving
Taking Time for Pleasurable Activities

The critical role of volunteers within the wildlife rehabilitation sector is challenging and supporting the physical, mental and emotional wellness of these volunteers is vital. Many wildlife volunteers are drawn to the role because they prioritise the needs of animals, but it’s important to also remember that taking care to give care, means you also care for yourself so that you can care for wildlife for longer.

Two Green Threads has prepared the Take Care to Give Care guide with support from the Wildlife Heroes. The purpose of helping build resilience for individuals and the wildlife volunteer sector as a whole. This guide provides suggestions for managing the challenges that might arise for wildlife volunteers particularly following a large-scale natural disaster like bushfire, severe drought, flood or cyclone. It offers information and prompts to help wildlife volunteers balance their care of wildlife with care for themselves.

Tune in to the Caring for Carers podcast