Post-quake wellbeing levels stabilise
The tenth Canterbury Wellbeing Survey of people in greater Christchurch since the 2011 earthquakes suggests that life has settled into a ‘new normal’ for many.
Evon Currie, chair of the greater Christchurch Psychosocial Group, says the Survey shows that many in the city have adjusted to post-earthquake life.
“Quality of life indicators appear to have stabilised, wellbeing levels continue to improve, and stress levels are at their lowest since the survey began,” says Mrs Currie.
The Survey shows that for the third time in a row, 82 per cent of greater Christchurch residents rate their quality of life as good or extremely good.
Another wellbeing indicator, the WHO-5 Wellbeing Index, continues to improve and is at its highest level since the Survey began in 2013.
While stress levels continue to reduce across the population, Mrs Currie says that ongoing stress continues to affect a pocket of greater Christchurch residents.
“One in six people surveyed said the quakes and their ongoing impacts are still affecting their health and wellbeing,” says Mrs Currie.
The largest area of frustration resulting from the quakes continues to be living in a damaged environment and being surrounded by construction works, with 30% of respondents saying this is negatively affecting them.
Mrs Currie says that while things have improved for many, there remains a significant group of greater Christchurch residents who are still really struggling.
“It is clear that some Cantabrians still face significant hurdles to their recovery,” says Mrs Currie.
People with unresolved insurance or EQC claims, and those on low incomes, who rent, or have a health condition or disability, are more likely to be stressed, have lower quality of life and wellbeing, and report lower self-rated health, the survey has found.
Mrs Currie says the Survey informs and aligns the work of organisations involved in Canterbury’s recovery.
This year’s Survey took place in June and July and was completed by 2,549 greater Christchurch residents. You can read the full findings online at www.cph.co.nz/your-health/wellbeing-survey/