© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Muslim leaders applaud post-March 15 health recovery plan

James Fleury
Mosque attack memorial
Flowers were placed at the Botanic Gardens after the March 15 mosque attacks.  James Fleury

Health Ministry to fund two Muslim psychologists, five post-traumatic stress disorder specialists, four resettlement workers and at least two family violence workers in response to mosque attacks.

Muslim leader Denise Jaeger said she was thrilled with the new recovery plan because it included faith-based counselling, which gave survivors a more personalised recovery. 

"Because trauma is specialised, comprehensive coverage to return to normality is the best way to establish good mental health in the community."

Jaeger said she was pleased the government consulted the Muslim community prior to the plan's release. 

The Canterbury District Health Board submitted the plan, which incorporates the input from not only Christchurch's city leaders, but also the Muslim community. 

Included in the plan are two full time Muslim psychologists; five full time clinical staff for post-traumatic stress disorder; four full time resettlement workers; at least two full time workers for a multi-agency response to family violence and a number of community resources.

Refugee Resettlement Centre Youth Coordinator Ikran Ahmed believed the plan was the best thing the government could do when dealing with something on a large scale.

She said the long-term approach was great because survivors would feel the impact of the event more when the family support from out of town started leaving.

Oranga Tamariki social worker Chelsea Turner said she was looking forward to seeing how the scheme would benefit local families.

"As research around trauma and mental health is limited, with the government investing in areas like this, we will hopefully receive more information on how to deal with these sorts of issues."

Health board chief executive David Meates told Stuff the ministry had confirmed funding for about 70 per cent of the resources requested.