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Earthquake impacts on all New Zealanders

Media Statement – For Immediate Release February 28, 2010

Earthquake impacts on all New Zealanders

For those of us out of Christchurch, the enormity of what has happened to our family, friends and colleagues in Christchurch will be impacting on how we go about our daily lives.

“The earthquake’s impact will be affecting many of us in many ways. That is to be expected, given the magnitude of this national disaster,” says Cary Hayward Relationship Services Whakawhanaungatanga (RSW) National Practice Manager.

“It is not unusual to feel physically and emotionally overwhelmed following the earthquake – this is your body’s way of reacting to shocking news.

“You may also be feeling powerless in that you want to help, but can’t,” he says.

There are simple things you can do to help yourself and help with the city’s recovery effort, he says:

• Stick to routine and keep your children in a routine
• Limit the amount of news coverage you and your children are watching
• Continue to do things that give you pleasure
• Find practical ways to help Christchurch people – donate or help with fundraising efforts for the earthquake appeal, for example, while it is impractical to send home baking down to Christchurch you could run a cake stall at your work or in your community

RSW’s counsellors are available to help you develop further strategies to cope. They can be reached through our free Government funded earthquake crisis telephone counselling service on:

• 0800 RELATE number – 0800 735 283
• or our national office number (04) 472 8798.

For face to face counselling you can find your nearest RSW office call 0800 RELATE number – 0800 735 283 or visit our website,

For more information on how to deal with your feelings following the earthquake go to:



Relationship Services is New Zealand’s largest provider of professional counselling and relationship education, assisting over 28,000 people each year and working in over 70 communities throughout the country. It is a not-for-profit organisation providing affordable services for individuals, couples and families. Relationship Services has expertise in couple counselling, working with Maori, individual and family therapy, working with violence and abuse, youth at risk, and workplace issues.

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