INDEPENDENT NEWS

Recipe to support post disaster recovery

Published: Thu 22 Aug 2019 10:28 AM
22 August 2019.
All Right?, the campaign that was established to support Cantabrians cope with the emotional impacts of the earthquakes, has launched a new online toolbox to help other communities set up similar initiatives.
He Waka Ora pulls together the experiences of the All Right? campaign so that those supporting communities following a disaster know some of the key steps needed to effectively support a community wellbeing.
All Right? manager Sue Turner says natural disasters have a major impact on people's mental health.
“The emotional impact of a disaster can last much longer than the physical scars. In fact, international literature suggests that psychosocial recovery after a disaster can take up to ten years,” says Turner.
“We also know that providing effective psychosocial support can prevent distress and suffering developing into something more severe, and help people to cope better with changed circumstances.”
Ms Turner says All Right? has achieved real success and results in Canterbury, with a recent evaluation showing that 88% of people in Greater Christchurch are aware of All Right? and 47% have changed their behaviour and done something about their wellbeing as a result of the campaign.
The new website, He Waka Ora, enables people to learn from All Right’s success and create their own campaign.
“Sharing this knowledge is part of our kaupapa, we want to maximise the number of people and organisations who are working to lift wellbeing in communities across New Zealand. He Waka Ora will help them do that – it’s a step by step guide to what All Right? did and why it worked.”
“Every community is different, with different needs, values and characteristics. What He Waka Ora does is pull together the elements that are essential for a successful psychosocial recovery programme.”
The resource is designed not only to help communities recover from disasters, but to build resilience in people before an event occurs.
“The best time to equip people with the skills and tools they need to deal with obstacles and challenges in their lives is before they happen,” says Turner.
He Waka Ora provides insights on:
key psychosocial stages
understanding and measuring community wellbeing
best practice mental health promotion and social marketing
building and maintaining support
utilising a wide range of skills and specialties
determining the impact of your actions
In addition, the website contains plenty of examples of All Right? initiatives that have helped people promote and activate wellbeing.
To find out more about He Waka Ora: https://hewakaora.nz/
ends

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