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Psychological Aftershocks Still Felt

Psychological Aftershocks Still Felt

Press release: New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists

21st April, 2013 For immediate release.

At the National Conference of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists, held over the weekend of the 20th and 21st of April, grave concern was expressed about the ongoing psychological struggles of the people of Christchurch. “The National Government is continuing to try to fix the cracks and rebuild the infrastructure of the city of Christchurch, but as an organisation we are concerned that the ongoing psychological effects cannot be papered over,” says NZAP Council representative, Kyle MacDonald. “We know that the course of psychological trauma is often protracted and that the effects can be particularly severe two to three years after the traumatic event.” Recent reports show that the level of anti--depressant prescribing in Christchurch is at an all--time high, with over 209,000 prescriptions last year, almost twice that of Auckland, despite the population difference. Other sources suggest the level of depression is up over 30%.

“It is understandable that after the pressure to simply survive starts to pass, that levels of depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder climb.” says Mr. MacDonald.

“It is vital that we as a nation do not simply expect people in Christchurch to ‘move on,’ and that the National--led Government place as much emphasis on helping rebuild the psychological health and resilience of the people of Canterbury as they do on the town planning. Ongoing political and legal arguments about insurance claims and the ‘rebuild’ will only add to this emotional struggle.”

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