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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Support for people affected by the Christchurch mosque attacks

On 15 March 2019, a terrorist attacked two mosques in Christchurch, tragically killing 51 people and injuring 40 people. This event significantly impacted the Canterbury Muslim community as well as the many responders and people who assisted the bereaved and injured and their whānau (families).

At the time, mental health and wellbeing support was made available to help affected people.

With the coronial inquiry starting in 2023, people involved in the attack were asked to revisit the events of the day. They were also given new information they may previously have been unaware of. This may have been distressing. Therefore, free doctor's visits for those affected have been reinstated until the end of 2024.

A new service that supports Muslim counselling has also been made available through general practices.

Where to find support

General practices

You are encouraged to make your general practice your first point of contact to access services. If you do not have a general practice or are new to Canterbury, find out how to enrol in Getting medical help if you are new to Canterbury.

General practice visits related to the mosque attacks will be fully funded (you will not have to pay) until 31 December 2024. Your general practice team will decide if your visit meets the criteria for the funding so ask when you make your appointment.

After-hours

After-hours services available to help you are:

Work and Income (WINZ)

If you have been affected by the mosque attacks or need to travel to Christchurch because of it, Work and Income may be able to help – even if you are not on a benefit. For more information, see Support for whānau affected by 15 March 2019.

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

ACC provides financial support if someone has been injured or died from an injury. This includes mental health support to those who were physically injured.

ACC is working with the police and Te Whatu Ora Waitaha to ensure claims are fast-tracked.

For more information, see Support available to victims of Christchurch terror attack. This page also has factsheets in English, Arabic, Bahasa Malaysia, Bengali, Farsi Persian, Hindi, Indonesian and Urdu.

Resources for parents and caregivers

Psychological and mental health support

If you or someone you know needs mental wellbeing support or advice call or text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor. This service is free and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Specialist Mental Health Services

Phone your general practice team first.

For general information and advice on the mental health support services available, see Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Specialist Mental Health Services.

If you need urgent or crisis mental health care, call 0800-920-092 (24 hours, seven days a week).

Christchurch Resettlement Service

Individual counselling and support for Muslims affected by the 15 March mosque attacks.

Phone (03) 335-0311 or visit Psychosocial and Mental Health Support for people affected by the 15 March mosque attacks.

Muslim Wellbeing Ōtautahi (provided by Purapura Whetu Trust)

Muslim Wellbeing Ōtautahi is a free, culturally appropriate, multilingual support service for Muslims of all ages and their whānau (families) living in Ōtautahi (Christchurch).

You can request support for yourself. Or a whānau member, health professional or member of the community can refer you. To contact Muslim Wellbeing Ōtautahi, phone 0800-4-WHETU (0800-494-388) or (03) 379-8001 or complete the referral form.

MHERC (Mental Health Education and Resource Centre)

A therapy service for Muslims provides online psychological interventions to individuals impacted by the March 2019 mosque attacks. It aims to take an Islamic perspective on wellbeing.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2023.

Sources

Page reference: 1145208

Review key: HISNY-105442