۳۰ بهمن ۱۳۹۸ |۲۵ جمادی‌الثانی ۱۴۴۱ | Feb 19, 2020
New study to help those directly affected by Mosque attacks

Following the tragedy on March 15, the Health Research Council (HRC) approached the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) and the universities of Otago and Canterbury about fast-tracking HRC funding of research to help those directly affected.

Hawzah News Agency (Christchurch - New Zealand) - A new study is about to get underway to help understand the psychological and physical effects of the March 15 Mosque attacks in Christchurch last year and to link those directly affected with additional support, if needed.

Following the tragedy on March 15, the Health Research Council (HRC) approached the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) and the universities of Otago and Canterbury about fast-tracking HRC funding of research to help those directly affected. An expert team comprising of clinical researchers from all three organisations was then formed, led by clinical psychiatrist Associate Professor Caroline Bell and Dr Ruqayya Sulaiman-Hill, both of whom have had key roles in planning the CDHB’s psychological health response to the attacks.

Dr Sulaiman-Hill, who has also been involved with the local Muslim response since the attacks, says the Muslim community has been integral to developing the successful research proposal and that they will continue to be closely involved at all stages of the research.

“The aim of the study is to help understand the impact that March 15 has had on the Christchurch Muslim community, particularly those present at the mosques and their close family, and close family of the shuhada (martyrs/witnesses). Interviews will be conducted by trained Muslim researchers from the local community accompanied by specialist mental health nurses,” says Dr Sulaiman-Hill.

“This was one of the worst mass shootings in history, and as far as we are aware, the first to involve Muslim people in a western context. Within the Muslim community, there is an acute awareness that research like this needs to be done to ensure that nobody affected who needs help slips through the cracks,” she says.

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