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New study underway into ongoing psychological effects on Christchurch’s Muslim community

1 NEWS can reveal a new study is underway to help understand the psychological and physical effects of the March 15 mosque attacks in Christchurch last year, amid fears many are struggling to find the appropriate help.

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The move comes amid fears that many of those affected aren’t getting the support they need. Source: 1 NEWS

The study, funded by the Health Research Council, aims to link those directly affected with the right support.

An expert team comprising of clinical researchers from the Canterbury District Health Board and the universities of Otago and Canterbury will interview as many people as possible who were in the mosques at the time and the families of those who died – although participation is completely voluntary.

They're hoping to identify and track ongoing issues in the wake of the terrorist attacks.

The team will look at "not just the attacks but everything that's followed from that - so immigration issues, financial issues, family issues… the whole change to life it's resulted in," Dr Caroline Bell, one of the lead researchers, told 1 NEWS.

It's being endorsed by the imams of both Al Noor and Linwood mosques, who will be encouraging people to take part.

Dr Ruqayya Sulaiman-Hill, also a lead researcher, says the study is also crucial to identify any cultural barriers that could be preventing the Muslim community from seeking help.

"Our Muslim community in Christchurch is incredibly diverse - we have more than 40 ethnic groups - and for that reason this study will be published in seven languages to ensure it's as accessible as possible," she said.

The study is expected to take all of 2020 to complete, with findings to be reported back by the end of next year.