Men’s group to tackle post-quake stress
Two Kaiko¯ura men are starting up a free support group to help other males deal with stress after the earthquake.
Kaiko¯ura Health Centre social worker and counsellor Simon Gordon said the November earthquake brought many changes to people’s lives and these were having a big impact on men, many who were finding it difficult to deal with life after the quake.
‘‘The pressures on men are huge and men find it hard to cope with strong emotions.’’
‘‘Men feel the responsibility of providing financially for the family in a lot of cases and they are finding it difficult to reach out and find support,’’ he said.
Gordon,who was brought up in Kaiko¯ura returned four months ago to take up the health centre role. Victor MacGill, a facility worker for Stopping Violence Services - Living Safe, is also an experienced social worker and counsellor.
They say they can help men work through some of the postquake issues within a malefriendly environment and help them with communication and coping strategies.
‘‘As part of our experience working with men, Victor and I understand and realise the difficulties men face and can put ourselves in their position.
‘‘The extra stress on people’s lives can create relationship problems, feelings of being overwhelmed and people who can usually cope start to find things bubble over,’’ said Gordon.
‘‘After the earthquake a lot of men changed their jobs and have been expected to work beyond normal hours, as well as support their own family which they are finding it hard to do with low energy levels complicated by the pressure of work,’’ Gordon said.
‘‘Many of their friends left town, and there is the continuing impact of drawn-out insurance claims, and living in damaged houses.
‘‘Unsettled children who are struggling to cope with the earthquake itself as well as living in anticipation and fear of another earthquake are all adding stress to families and having an impact,’’ he said.
It’s anticipated the group will start in early November on Tuesday between 6pm to 8pm.
Gordon said men were welcome to ring and talk with them now about what’s happening to help put some stability back into their lives.
‘‘When men are coping with difficult situations they are often expected to put on a brave face and keep it all together.
‘‘Sometimes these pressures can become a bit more than we can handle by ourselves,’’ said Gordon.
The group is a collaboration between Kaiko¯ura Health Care, SVS Living Safe and Kaiko¯ura Violence Free Network. To register ring Victor 027 510 9842 or Simon 027 503 6935.
Kaiko¯ura Health Centre social workers and counsellors Simon Gordon, pictured, along with Victor MacGill, are setting up a men’s support group to help men deal with their post-quake stress.