Thousands of residents still being treated for post-quake stress

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Young people are easily getting jobs on the Canterbury rebuild, but thousands of residents are still being treated for post-earthquake stress, the latest Canterbury Wellbeing Index data reveals.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) has today released the Canterbury Wellbeing Index which tracks the progress of the social recovery across greater Christchurch and a number of indicators.

The biannual index brings together data from multiple agencies that look at a range of social issues facing Cantabrians including health, employment and housing.

The latest data shows a high uptake of community based support services by the quake-affected population.

More than 7000 households took advantage of the Earthquake Support Co-ordination Service and over 51,000 free counselling sessions have been held, the data says.

It shows that a "clear and significant minority continues to struggle with everyday life", says Michelle Mitchell, Cera's deputy chief executive for social and cultural recovery.

"We are committed to a process of checking whether services provided meet the support needs of communities, families and individuals," she said.

"Over the next few months, we will continue the conversation to ensure that the services provided meet these needs, to check whether other interventions may be required, and to do our best to create opportunities for people to help each other.

"We also realise that we still need to keep an eye out for others and be mindful of our neighbours and families, especially the impact upon children."

Ms Mitchell said the index highlighted "some really encouraging results", in particular, that people in the 20-24 age group are "moving quickly in to employment, many of those, involved in the rebuild".

Unemployment rates in that age group were half the national average, she said.

But while it was encouraging to see a good number of positive results in the index, agencies across the social sector need to keep working together to create positive opportunities and results for local people.

"The Canterbury Wellbeing Index has given our best picture yet of where we are at. It is a challenge for the months and years ahead as we work with our partner agencies to improve on these results," said Ms Mitchell.

- APNZ

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