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Stress levels ‘through the roof’ across Christchurch

Citywide support groups are still full of people recovering from post-quake stress.

It’s been half a decade since Canterbury’s first big jolt, but people who need help are still coming out of the woodwork.

Survey findings from the Christchurch Community Response team (CRR) show a significant number of people still experiencing high stress levels.

Burwood resident Wendy Robinson is one of these people. She’s waiting for a rebuild but still staying in the damaged home for the meantime.

At first sight you don’t notice, but as Wendy told Metro News, the whole house is on a slight lean with impressive extensive cracks to show for it.

The Christchurch Community Response team (CCR) are finding people like Wendy. The team, based at St Christopher’s Anglican Church, has volunteers from churches right across the city.

The group are out door knocking, one area at a time. Since they started they’ve visited over 50,000 homes.

They’ve just finished almost 7000 homes in the wider Belfast area, and from this need to follow up with 60 people. This is something they are concerned about.

Earthquake Recovery Coordinator Janette Sprott told Metro News “A lot of people are under a lot of stress. A lot of people are still waiting for their repairs to be done but they’ve not been fixed properly and don’t know what to do to try and get that sorted.”

Janette says that’s where they come in. They have information about who people can seek out to get the support they need.

They have now shared their latest findings with the Shirley-Papanui community board.

While the board are supporting their efforts to help, Chairman Mike Davidson thinks as a city we need to be more optimistic.

“I don’t think we should be focusing on the negative, maybe we should look at the positive and say hey look, things are really starting to work, people are actually heading in the right direction and starting to feel good about themselves. So sure yeah, there’s some work to be done on the people that obviously need follow up work, but at the same time, there’s a lot of people out there that are actually doing alright.”

This is exactly what those in the thick of it are trying to do.

Wendy Robinson told Metro News, “Every time I go past a house that is being rebuilt or fixed I say thank you god something’s happening.”