It’s been a while since my last earthquake report but I felt it was time once again to highlight the support services that are available in the community. I know that people are still struggling with earthquake issues and I want to be sure that they are being well supported.
The continuation of this article contains suggestions on coping and contact details for a number of useful organisations
The third year following a major disaster can be just a difficult for many people, even though time has passed. Here is a quote from Dr Rob Gordon which sums it up.
“The complexity of the third year can make things difficult. Some want to put the disaster behind them, get back to normal and stop dwelling on it; others lack energy, cannot get their problems out of their minds and need to talk. Some focus on the future and are active’, others cannot make decisions or get on with what needs to be done. People in these different situations tend to frustrate each other with their incompatible needs.” Dr Rob Gordon. Australian specialist in disaster psychology.
These are a brief version of some of Dr Gordon’s suggestions about how to cope:
- Be patient with each other and yourself
- Try not to judge things or make important decisions when feeling low.
- Build routines
- Take stock of what you have learned and how you have changed
- Remember what was important before the disaster
- Talk things over with others who are interested
- Think how you would like life to be in the future
- Give attention to what has been neglected – relationships, recreation, family, leisure and private time
- Look for opportunity to share your stories
- Think about positive ideas and plans.
- Try to focus on what you can influence and not let your peace of mind depend on what others do.
There are still many support services available to those affected by the earthquakes, whether it is emotionally or physically. It’s often difficult to remember what’s out there so I’ve put this list together for some numbers you can call if you need assistance of any kind – or pass on to others.
Canterbury Support Line
0800 777 846
9am – 11pm, 7 days a week
The Canterbury Support Line is a free confidential service with a trained call centre team who can help answer your questions and provide information. They can connect you to counselling, practical support, information of advice and help you navigate the repair/rebuild and recovery process.
Earthquake Support Coordination Service
0800 777 846
Assists individuals and families directly affected by the earthquakes with information, referrals and support.
Family and Community Services
Part of the Ministry of Social Development this service supports families and community to be strong, well informed and to connect with each other.
Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service
0800 673 227 or www.quakeaccommodation.govt.nz
The service provides temporary accommodation assistance towards rent, board or motel stays during earthquake repairs and is available until March 2015. There is also a Matching and Placing service into government-supported short-term temporary accommodation or referrals to private sector accommodation.
Free financial advice
0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372)
Provided by a number of volunteer individuals and organizations to assist with financial worries as a result of the earthquakes.
Information about how to keep warm and well during the colder months.
Work and Income
0800 559 009 or www.workandincome.govt.nz
Assistance to help you and your family if you are struggling to support yourself.
All Right? Campaign
You will have seen the All Right? posters encouraging people to connect with others and support them to boost their wellbeing. You can share your ideas online on Facebook (www.facebook.com/allrighnz or go to www.allright.org.nz.
OTHER USEFUL CONTACTS
After Hours health advice
Call your genera practice and your call will be answered by a registered nurse who can advice you about what to do and where to go if you need urgent care.
Are you OK?
0800 456 450
0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372)
Community Energy Action
0800 GET WARM (0800 438 9276) or www.cea.co.nz/earthquake
Christchurch City Council
03 941 8999
0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243)
0800 754 726 or www.redcross.org.nz
Tenants Protection Association
Of course as your local MP, I’m happy to chat about any issues that may be concerning you. Just email me firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 365 8297.
Finally, can you help me? I am still concerned that there may be people out there who despite all these services have fallen through the cracks. If you know anyone who you feel still needs help please can you contact my office and we will do everything we can to make sure they are looked after.