Christchurch terror attack witness urges more mental health support

7:40 pm on 6 April 2021

A witness to the Christchurch terror attack is calling on the government to listen to their pleas, and fears lives could be lost if mental health support isn't adequately provided.

Nathan Smith was inside Masjid An-Nur when the shooting started on 15 March 2019.

Fifty-one lives were lost in the terrorist attack - the country's worst mass shooting - committed by an Australian white supremacist.

Smith says he has, as a first-hand witness, struggled with the trauma since the attack and mental health support has been nearly non-existent.

His first counselling session was with a temporary counsellor who returned home to Australia, and he had to seek out his own counselling when the following appointments were cancelled.

ACC's mental health support policy is that help is only given if a mental injury is caused by a physical injury.

Warning: Parts of the interview could be distressing for some viewers

Where to get help:

Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email

What's Up: online chat (3pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 helpline (12pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-11pm weekends)

Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)

Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254

Healthline: 0800 611 116

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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