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Recovery expert praises Christchurch support for people

Media Release – 20 June 2014

Recovery expert praises Christchurch support for people

A leading expert on human recovery after disasters has praised the response by Christchurch agencies and communities to people in need after the earthquakes.

Clinical psychologist Dr Rob Gordon, who has provided invaluable advice to Christchurch communities affected by the quakes, says he is impressed with how Christchurch is continuing to provide help and support for people as they work through their personal recovery.

Dr Gordon has shared his views following the launch yesterday of the Community in Mind strategy by Associate Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Nicky Wagner, which aims to identify what individuals and communities need for effective health and well-being over the next three to six years.

“A strategy like this is all important to ensure the focus is on the right areas, and is meeting the changing needs,” Dr Gordon says.

“The nature of this disaster, and the needs of people in Christchurch in the aftermath, is quite different to what I have seen in Australia, for example. It’s very unusual to see such a lasting commitment to support people through agency collaboration such as we are seeing in Christchurch.”

“At this point in the recovery, people need help with making decisions as some of the decisions they are making lay the foundations for their long-term futures. The waiting is another aspect that people also need help with, as it is one of the most challenging features of all disasters.”

The All Right? Campaign, the Earthquake Support Coordination service, Let’s Find and Fix, Residential Advisory Service, and Knowing your neighbour is a piece of cake campaign, are among the many services available to Christchurch people.

For more information on the Community in Mind strategy, including the stories of those involved with the services to help people, visit www.cera.govt.nz

• Dr Rob Gordon has spent the past 30 years working with people affected by emergencies and disasters. This includes the aftermath of the Bali bombings and Christchurch earthquakes, Australian bushfires and other large-scale disasters.

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