Another step has been taken to help bring a disaster psychologist into Dallington to investigate post-earthquake issues.
The Coastal-Burwood Community Board held a seminar to discuss what needs to be done to bring the plan into fruition.
It was decided the board’s community development adviser Natalie Dally will talk to volunteers and leaders in Dallington as well as areas including Southshore and Avondale to gauge key social isolation issues.
Board chairwoman Kim Money said the aim was to find out how the communities would like to be engaged in the process and what they felt would be the best approach.
It is after the Dallington Community Trust asked for funding from the board to have a psychologist look at issues in the area and develop a wellness programme.
The programme developed for Dallington could set a precedent for other isolated areas.
Trustee and long-term resident David Collins said it is good the board is engaging with the community.
“If they are able to highlight the areas for a disaster psychologist to concentrate on well that is also showing due diligence,” he said.
Pegasus Post reported last month Australian disaster recovery expert and psychologist Dr Rob Gordon could be brought in to investigate.
Trust chairwoman and board member Linda Stewart said a decision has not yet been made but it did “float some strategies” at the seminar.
She said the board is open to different people who could be brought in and how the issue could be handled.
But she said she was supportive of bringing Dr Gordon over as the Australians were “light years ahead” in terms of civil defence and disaster management.
Ms Stewart said it is hoped key people in the community such as Avonside community centre co-ordinator Betty Chapman, church leaders, and Dallington trust members could be brought together to learn from Dr Gordon.
“I don’t want to bring him backwards and forwards I want a oncer so we know how to do it,” Ms Stewart said.
But Mr Collins said the trust has to bear in mind bringing in a psychologist will come out of ratepayer funding in the long-run.
•HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think a disaster psychologist could make a difference to suburbs battling social isolation issues post-earthquake? Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org