The need for family-focused, holistic, evidence-based services such as ours in Canterbury is well documented. The significant events of the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011 and the March 15th terror attacks of 2019 have had a lasting effect on our children’s lives.
Research by the University of Canterbury in 2017 found that 80% of Christchurch primary school children exhibit at least some symptoms of PTSD; this is a marked difference from the rest of the country and can reduce children’s readiness to learn. While this is linked to the earthquakes and subsequent anxiety and instability which surrounded most Christchurch children’s early lives, these problems are exacerbated in children in the East of Christchurch. Statistics show that among this group of children and youth, 43 per cent suffer from low self-esteem, 28 per cent have self-harmed, 36 per cent suffer from high anxiety or depression, and 36 per cent felt no sense of belonging.
In our more than 120 years of operation, we have consistently adapted to meet the needs of our community, meaning our services play a unique, essential and relevant part in protecting childhoods and creating stronger families and communities.