Media Releases

Guidelines for communities affected by adverse events

Friday, December 9, 2016 - 09:21
Health

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman welcomes new guidelines aimed at offering psychosocial support for communities affected by adverse events.

“The Framework for Psychosocial Support in Emergencies is designed to help those involved in planning, coordinating and delivering psychosocial and mental health support following an emergency,” says Dr Coleman.

“I’d like to acknowledge the role of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research, based at Massey University, who worked with the health sector to review the previous Principles for Psychosocial Support in light of recent emergencies since the Canterbury Earthquakes.

“As events in Kaikoura have shown, our communities can be affected without warning by serious events. This framework will help to support and enhance how communities can recover from adverse events.

“It’s important that the Ministry of Health coordinates services that can help minimise the trauma and stress on communities.

“For many people the distress they experience after a serious event can be eased with the support of family and friends, however some will need professional help and a small proportion may require specialised mental health services.”

The framework is for agencies, service providers and community groups involved in planning, coordinating and delivering psychosocial support and supports the change in responsibilities under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan.

It includes guidelines on planning and preparedness, assessment of needs, programme development and implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.

The new guidelines are available on the Ministry of Health website here: www.health.govt.nz/publication/framework-psychosocial-support-emergencies