1 in 20 will suffer post-traumatic stress
Last updated 12:48 10/05/2011
Most Cantabrians will cope with the emotional aftermath of the two big earthquakes but a few will need ongoing support and medical treatment, chief science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman says.
Speaking in Christchurch on the psychosocial consequences of the September 4, 2010 and February 22 events, Gluckman said there were several generally accepted phases of emotional response after such a large natural disaster.
The community was now going through the third, the "long, slow" repair and recovery phase.
"This is where people's brains have to go through a cycle as they come to terms with the situation and the new reality.
"It will vary from individual to individual and will be affected by the [city] recovery, aftershocks and other externalities.
"The good news is that most people are resilient. Most people get through this. About five per cent will come out with residual psychological needs that have to be supported, what some people will call post-traumatic stress disorder."