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Most people who suffer mental health issues after being exposed to trauma or disaster can eventually recover with the support of their friends, family and community.

Associate Professor Darryl Wade has conducted mental health research with disaster survivors, including those affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. 

He told Sky News Australia that a high number of people with mental health issues also had substance abuse issues; the reverse was also true.

As such, he said, it was important that programs are available that meet the needs of people with both of those problems.