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Focus On Looking After Each Other

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

West Coast DHB chief executive, David Meates says, "As the West Coast comes to terms with the tragedy at the Pike River Coal mine, it is particularly important that the community looks after themselves, friends and whanau.

David Meates says, "Our focus is to look after the health and well being of the West Coast community. We are working alongside the West Coast Primary Health Organisation, Community & Public Health, the Ministry of Social Development and other non-government organisations to ensure there is a coordinated approach that provides a link to all agencies.

"A Pike River helpline has been set up on 768 9835 or text 027 6226662. This number is active from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. The people manning this line can provide advice or put you in contact with the appropriate support agencies."

West Coast DHB chief medical adviser, Dr Carol Atmore says," The events over the past week have been traumatic and extreme emotions are very normal. It's important to remember that we all cope in different ways."

Dr Atmore says one way of coping is to talk about how you are feeling with friends, family or work colleagues if you want to. For other people they may not want to talk and that is okay.

"Take care of yourself and by doing that you will be able to look after your family and your friends- rest, eat good food and exercise," says Dr Atmore.

"Many children will be upset - some deeply. As we know it's important to talk to them about what has happened, support and reassure them.

"There is a lot of support being offered from a variety of organisations on the Coast and outside - they are really keen to help. If you or your family/whanau/ friends need help, even if it is just someone to talk to about how you are feeling, or any issue important to you, we encourage you to use your normal supports or ring the helpline," says Dr Atmore.

David Meates says the Health Minister Tony Ryall also extends his sympathy and support to the people of the West Coast in this terrible time.

Mr Ryall says, "This tragedy will have affected you all - some personally and directly. I am deeply sorry for your loss."

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