News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Time to be kind as the gap in Canterbury widens

19 February 2014

Time to be kind as the gap in Canterbury widens

As Canterbury approaches the third anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake, disaster recovery and mental health experts are urging those affected to look after themselves and each other.

Australian disaster psychologist, Dr Rob Gordon (who works for New Zealand Red Cross) says the fourth year of recovery after any big disaster brings new pressures.

“Typically by this stage our circumstances are becoming much more varied. Some feel they’re well on the way to having damage and problems resolved and making a new life, while others haven’t been able to get started yet,” says Dr Gordon.

He says that means we need to preserve patience and tolerance and reserve judgement of others who are not in the same situation as ourselves.

Public health specialist for the All Right? project, Dr Lucy D’Aeth, says soon to be released research backs up Dr Gordon’s advice.

”Preliminary results from All Right’s latest research suggest the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots”, those who are recovering well and those who are ‘stuck’, is growing,” says Dr D’Aeth

Dr D’Aeth says international research shows recovery from any disaster can make the vulnerable even more vulnerable.

“Tragically, this seems to be what is happening in Christchurch. High rents, lack of affordable housing and the various other secondary stressors are taking the biggest toll on those who are least able to deal with them.”

“We have a growing number of people who are moving on with their lives and are excited about the future, and others who are still unable to progress as they’re dealing with issues that seem beyond their control,” says Dr D’aeth.]

“A healthy recovery is one where nobody is left behind. This is a time when we all need to be patient with each other – we are involved in a long, slow, complicated process so looking out for ourselves and each other, especially those who are ‘doing it hard’, is crucial so we don’t lose Canterbury’s incredible sense of community.”

Dr Gordon says fatigue is also a problem at this stage of recovery.

“The longer we are out of our normal routines and facing challenges, the more of an issue fatigue is,” says Dr Gordon.

Dr D’Aeth agrees.

“Early indications from our research also show many Cantabrians are exhausted. Life can be tiring at the best of times, but add in stressors like roadworks, insurance issues, battling to find somewhere to live long term, finding temporary accommodation while repairs are carried out, or living with family members for extended periods and some Cantabrians are finding life very tiring.”

Dr Gordon says Cantabrians need to be very conscious about taking care of themselves.

“Look after your health, ensure you have a good balance between work and leisure and connect with others. Ask yourself ‘what do I need to do to keep myself in a good space of mind?’” says Dr Gordon.

“It’s all about making the little things which help us feel better a priority. So many things are out of our hands in Canterbury but we mustn’t underestimate how the small things …like catching up with friends, a walk in the park or just noticing the amazing Canterbury sunsets…can improve our mental health and wellbeing,” says Dr D’Aeth.

“These things are not trivial – they are what makes life worth living,” concludes Dr D’Aeth.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Hundertwasser Art Museum: Whangarei Says Yes

Provisional results confirm Whangarei voted Option B in a landslide result for the Hundertwasser and Wairau Maori Art Centre project. 13,726 voted for the Hundertwasser project in a FPP binding referendum that had higher voter turnout than the last local body election. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news