Strategy to help Cantabrians launched

  • Nicky Wagner
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

Associate Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Nicky Wagner tonight launched the Community in Mind psychosocial strategy for greater Christchurch.

The strategy, which was developed by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority from key agencies and organisations across Canterbury and nationally, aims to identify what individuals and communities need for effective psychosocial recovery over the next three to six years.

It supports three priority areas; community-led recovery, innovative service delivery and engagement, and communicating closely with local communities across Canterbury. 

“The demand for psychosocial services in Canterbury has continued to rise, even though it’s three years on from the devastating 2011 earthquake.

“We have a lot of assistance available but for some people it’s only now time to seek that out.  What this strategy does is highlight the ongoing need, and point people to the right place to get support.

“It builds on the work done since the September 2010 earthquake, strengthening the connection between community-led and service delivery.

“The strategy will guide agencies, including non-governmental agencies and community groups across the region to develop, target and coordinate their work programmes,” Ms Wagner says.

The next step is to put together an action plan to implement priority areas. 

“There will be many opportunities for the public to be involved and give feedback about the strategy, and to share their stories,” Ms Wagner says.

The Community in Mind psychosocial strategy evolved from a recommendation by the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman that a comprehensive psychosocial recovery programme was needed for the people of Christchurch following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

It follows the short term strategy that was put in place directly following the September earthquake, which has guided greater Christchurch’s psychosocial work to date.

Research conducted after the earthquakes initially identified significant increases in reported distress and anxiety.  Subsequent research indicates while anxiety associated with the earthquakes and aftershocks has now diminished, secondary stressors are reportedly having an impact on people.

For more information on Community in Mind visit www.cera.govt.nz

Editor's notes for the Diagram from Community in Mind strategy document:

  • The artwork was designed and gifted by He Oranga Pounamu.
  • The symbolism is powerful: features represent our place, our landscape, our rivers, our mountains. This is about a strategy that reflects us and the things that are important about the world in which we live.
  • The flax or harakeke symbolises the family and the cycle of life, with the new leaf at its centre being the child surrounded by the broader family.
  • The flax relates directly to the three strands of the strategy. Flax is commonly used for weaving, and the power of the weaving is that the woven strands together are stronger than each on their own. Together, they represent a new fabric.