The Council and members of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists send our deepest sympathy to those who have been killed or injured in yesterday’s hate crimes in Christchurch. Our deepest sympathy also goes to family members and others who have lost loved ones or had loved ones injured in this event.
Our thoughts are also with those who were not directly involved, but who as a result of these hate crimes, feel less secure in their everyday life – in particular in the Muslim community, but also beyond.
As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last night, this behaviour, and the kind of thinking that led to it, has no place in New Zealand society.
Members may well find themselves seeing people of all backgrounds who are dealing with the effects of this event in the coming weeks and months. In preparation for this, members may wish to look at the useful resources in the following links, which cover many aspects of dealing with reactions to mass violence.
- From the Ministry of Health, Coping after a traumatic event and Advice on supporting your kids after a traumatic event, both of which are now live at https://www.health.govt.nz/node/9714: The Ministry is currently translating these documents into languages most relevant for those directly impacted.
- Le Va’s info sheet which is more for a wider NZ audience, with information about self-help and support, also available at https://www.leva.co.nz/resources/coping-after-a-traumatic-event-like-christchurch
These last three links are resources are particularly focused on children
Additionally, please see https://www.muslimwellness.com/communitytrauma
Some people will (and already are) argue that this event will necessarily change New Zealand to be a less open and less trusting society. We believe that this does not have to be the case. We hope that if there are activities happening in your community to express abhorrence for these and other acts of violence, and solidarity with the Muslim community and for diversity in New Zealand, you will see it as part of your role as a clinical psychologist and as a citizen to participate.
A verified Givealittle page has been set up by the New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups providing an opportunity to donate to support victims of this horrific event: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/christchurch-shooting-victims-fund