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Cantabrians’ wellbeing continues to improve

18 December 2019

Canterbury’s latest wellbeing indicators show that most people continue to rate their quality of life highly.

A major update to the Canterbury Wellbeing Index was released today by Canterbury District Health Board. The Index uses data from many different local and national agencies, as well the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey, to bring together information about wellbeing in Christchurch City, Selwyn District and Waimakariri District.

Evon Currie, chair of the greater Christchurch Psychosocial Governance Group, says quality of life ratings have reached the highest level ever since surveying started, with over eight in ten (86%) greater Christchurch residents rating their quality of life positively.

“Greater Christchurch is going from strength to strength, with new developments helping contribute to a real sense of vibrancy. This, combined with the fact far fewer of us are still battling insurance and other earthquake related stressors, is contributing to overall improvements in wellbeing,” says Currie.

While quality of life in Christchurch City has risen the most since the first Canterbury wellbeing Survey in 2012 (up 15% to 86%), overall there is very little variation across the region, with 89% of Selwyn residents, and 87% of Waimakariri residents, rating their quality of life positively in 2019.

Currie says loneliness continues to be a significant issue amongst Canterbury youth, with 15% of 18-24 year olds reporting feeling lonely or isolated always or most of the time in 2019. This figure is significantly higher than 6% for the overall adult population. The 65-74 year age group has the lowest proportion reporting loneliness, at less than 2%.

In a related finding, the 18-24 year old age group also has the highest proportion (16%) who would find it hard or very hard to talk to someone if they were feeling down.

“It is apparent that we need to explore ways in which we can address loneliness among young people. Are we doing enough for our young people? This is a key question our community, and our policy makers, need to keep asking.

“Someone who is lonely, and who doesn’t feel there is anyone they can talk to, is vulnerable. As a society we all need to step up and ensure we are there for each other and no one falls through the cracks,” says Currie.

The Canterbury Wellbeing Index contains 57 indicators across a diverse range of domains including education, housing, health and employment, and includes a separate section focusing on 19 Māori wellbeing indicators. The interactive Index website enables users to easily extract the information they are interested in.

The Canterbury Wellbeing Index, and a link to the full findings of the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey, can be found at www.canterburywellbeing.org.nz

We all need a bit of support from time-to-time, and if you or someone you know is struggling, there is free help available. Free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day.

ENDS

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