Quake-shaken Christchurch kids in line for more help

  • 21/10/2017
Depression child
"[Mental health in schools] is a really big issue," says Canterbury Primary Principal's Association president Margaret Trotter. Photo credit: Getty

A high number of Canterbury children are suffering from mental health issues, and extra help might not be far off.

A Labour Party election promise gave Canterbury hope for more support on a "really big issue" for Christchurch schools, since the earthquakes seven years ago.

During the election campaign, Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern said Labour would fund an extra 80 mental health professionals for the next three years, who will work in all public primary and intermediate schools.

With Labour forming the Government, Canterbury Primary Principal's Association president Margaret Trotter is waiting to see the positive changes for primary school kids, who are facing mental health battles.

"[Mental health in schools] is a really big issue, all schools are seeing a big increase with anxiety and mental health, there's a lot that's happened with the earthquake and it's growing across the country," Ms Trotter said.

"The earthquake has escalated the issues with children and their families."

It's not only children who are having a tough time after the devastating effects of the earthquakes, with teachers learning how to cope as well.

"We can't forget that all our teachers have been through their own dilemmas with housing and families as well, our teachers have done a fantastic job with the schools," Ms Trotter said.

"They're facing classrooms on a day to day basis, and it will be great to have extra resources for this.

"It's very early days, and we're just waiting to see who our minister of education will be, we look forward to working with the ministry and Jacinda, regarding the mental health issues, it's an exciting time."

NZN