Supporting people affected by the Christchurch mosque attacks

The Ministry of Health is developing a national approach to support people and communities affected by the Christchurch mosque attacks.

The Ministry recognises responding to and recovering from these shocking and horrific attacks will take time and will require effort and resources from many parts of society.

The Christchurch mosque attacks of 15 March 2019 have been very distressing for those directly impacted. Victims, witnesses and their families and whānau are more likely to have an ongoing need for support into the future.

Distress related to the attacks is not limited to those living in Christchurch. Many people throughout New Zealand were profoundly shocked and saddened by this horrific act of violence.

Development of response plan

In addition to working with Canterbury DHB (CDHB) to coordinate and respond to the immediate needs, the Ministry is developing a plan to guide the longer term response and recovery actions at the national level over the next year.

This plan is a living document which the Ministry will continue to review and develop as the longer term impacts of the attacks become clearer. The plan will be published on the Ministry website as it is updated.

The Ministry will continue to ensure access to appropriate support and interventions, reviewing actions under this plan and making any recommendations for further support based on identified needs, ongoing coordination and support for CDHB’s recovery plan.

Updates on this plan will be provided on this page as work progresses.

Actions in Christchurch

In terms of the high-level response, CDHB continues to:

  • Engage widely with the Muslim community to understand their needs and aspirations
  • Meet with other agencies to share information and coordinate activities
  • Work with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and others to oversee the Case Management/Navigation model.
  • Expand clinical leadership to provide a wide range of perspectives
  • Meet with funders to work out how money will be allocated for people accessing mental health services
  • Plan and implement initiatives for the coming months, including how people from the impacted communities can lead the response.

The Ministry team continues to work with CDHB and other agencies to support and coordinate the provision of support at a national level.

The Ministry continues to:

  • Coordinate the provision of tools and on-line resources.
  • Coordinate responses and resources across health and other agencies.
  • Support and enable efforts to increase access to primary health care (including primary mental health interventions) for those directly impacted by the attacks.
  • Enable development of additional resources for all those affected, both locally and nationally, including culturally and linguistically appropriate resources.
  • Support and enable psychosocial support interventions targeted to Muslim communities to ensure culturally and linguistically appropriate responsive services.
  • Support training for trauma-informed care for the wider health workforce.
  • Contribute to the all-of-Government helpline and fact sheets.
  • Link with other Government departments, including the MSD, Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD) and the Ministry of Education (MoE), as well as agencies such as the New Zealand Red Cross, Salvation Army and Victim Support at a national and local level.

More information

Supporting people affected by the Christchurch mosque attacks: National response and recovery plan to 15 March 2020 (Word, 507 KB)

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