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Continued funding of earthquake related counselling welcomed

Relationships Aotearoa welcomes continued funding of earthquake related counselling services in Christchurch

Relationships Aotearoa (RA) welcomes the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) announcement of continued funding for psychosocial services as part of the $13.5 million funding increase to support Canterbury residents in distress, RA Chief Executive Jacqui-Akuhata-Brown says.

RA has been providing earthquake support counselling services for those affected by the quakes since the first quake in September 2010 with services increasing significantly after the February 2011 quake.

“Many affected by the quakes are still living with significant levels of stress 3 years on from the February quake,” she says.

“Anxiety and stress, exhaustion, financial and housing issues are the most commonly cited issues for Cantabrians seeking counselling support.

“We also welcome the accommodation support initiatives announced as the deficit in affordable and undamaged housing stock has significant implications for emotional wellbeing,” Mrs Akuhata-Brown says.

“A number of clients continue to present with primary stress such as trauma, and the length of time since the major quakes does not always diminish the impact this initial trauma has had on lives and relationships.

“Counselling support for earthquake related issues has to date tended to focus on one on one counselling and while that may be appropriate for some, having services to support a variety of needs will be important as the rebuild of Christchurch continues,” says Mrs Akuhata-Brown.

Ends

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