More mental health support for terror victims

Jacinda Ardern says the support will help meet long-term mental health and wellbeing needs of...
Jacinda Ardern says the support will help meet long-term mental health and wellbeing needs of people affected by the attacks. Photo: Getty Images
The Prime Minister has announced further mental health support for people affected by the Christchurch terror attacks.

Jacinda Ardern was the city today as it marks six months since New Zealand's worst ever terror attack. Fifty-one people were killed and another 40 injured after shootings at two mosques on March 15.

Ardern said the mental aftershocks of the shootings will likely rumble on for years.

During a visit to West Spreydon School, the Prime Minister met with staff and students participating in the Sparklers programme, which supports and promotes the wellbeing of young Cantabrians.

She pledged a further $8.68 million for mental health services in the region over the next three years. It comes in addition to the $8.5 million invested in Budget 2019 in response to attacks.

Ardern said the support will help meet the long-term mental health and wellbeing needs of people affected by the terror attacks.

"As we mark six months since the horrific events of March 15, we remember the remarkable community spirit and unity that was on display in the weeks that followed.

"But we also acknowledge we will be dealing with the trauma of that day for years to come."

The Al Noor mosque was one of two targetted by a gunman on March 15. Photo: ODT files
The Al Noor mosque was one of two targetted by a gunman on March 15. Photo: ODT files
The additional funding will help:

• Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and other serious issues

• Community mental health and addiction support

• Cultural competency training for GPs

• Allowing extended GP consultations for those directly affected by the attacks

• Building community resilience.

The Prime Minister praised Canterbury District Health Board for its "incredible job" from the emergency response treating victims, through to supporting their physical and mental recovery.

However, she stressed that there is more work to be done.

"It's vital that survivors, families, the Muslim community and the people of Christchurch know that we will be there to support them for the long-haul."