Mental health support extended

by Ann van Engelen

To meet the long-term mental health and wellbeing needs of people affected by the March 15 terror attacks in Christchurch, a further $8.68 million for mental health services in Canterbury has been allocated over the next three years.

“As we mark six months since the horrific events of March 15, we remember the remarkable community spirit and unity that was on display in the weeks that followed. We also acknowledge we will be dealing with the trauma of that day for years to come,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“Canterbury DHB has done an incredible job from the emergency response treating victims, through to supporting their physical and mental recovery, but there is more work to be done. It is vital that survivors, families, the Muslim community and the people of Christchurch know that we will be there to support them for the long-haul.

“The additional funding will enable ongoing and meaningful support. It includes treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and other serious issues, community mental health and addiction support, cultural competency training for GPs, allowing extended GP consultations for those directly affected by the attacks and building community resilience.

“I want to thank everyone who has been involved supporting people affected by the terror attacks — from community leaders and organisations to medical and mental health staff. Your efforts have made a huge difference in the most challenging of times. The announcement means our mental health services can continue to deliver the support that is needed now and into the future.”