Supporting your team following the Christchurch mass tragedy

Bernard Walker, University of Canterbury

The mass tragedy in Christchurch affects many people. The injured and deceased are part of our Canterbury community. Some are work colleagues, and others are friends and family of workers. Most workplaces are affected.

The events bring a wide range of emotions, including anger, grief, loss, and deep sadness. At times people have strong emotions, while others can feel numb and switch off.

Anxiety also increases. Members of the ethnic groups at the centre of the events are experiencing a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. The wider community can also have a heightened sense of anxiety.

There can be changes in how individuals think about life, and how safe we feel.  These are major changes, and it will take time for people to come to terms with them.

Employers and leaders have a challenging role in this situation. To assist, the Organisational Resilience Research team at the University of Canterbury have put together some key guidelines from local and international research.

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