© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Teenagers badly affected by quakes

A survey shows teenagers in Christchurch East have been badly affected by the quakes.

The Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project report looked at six different areas around the country, and found high school students in Christchurch have the highest rates of mental health problems in all areas.

It showed that Christchurch East teenagers have the highest rates of depression, moderate to severe bullying, low self esteem, lacked a sense of belonging and did not feel safe at school. 

The report also found social service providers in Christchurch cannot cope with the demand for mental health services.

School Counselor Portfolio holder for the New Zealand Association of Counselors Sarah Maindonald said it is concerning Christchurch is still under the national average in terms of mental health funding.

An extra $10 million was put into Christchurch Mental Health after the quakes, but none of that went towards education, such as funding school counselors. 

Maindonald said within Christchurch many familiar places are gone, and that has created a sense of insecurity and lead teenagers to question their community and their place within it. 

She said if the government does not take action, the long term impact of the community and prosperity of the city will be at risk.