News item | 11-23-2022 | 2:00 PM

    The consequences of the earthquakes in Groningen have a major impact on Groningen residents. Certainly also mentally; from children to adults. State Secretary Vijlbrief (Mining, EZK) is taking extra measures on top of all existing programs to better support Groningen residents in this.

    State Secretary Vijlbrief: “The National Ombudsman also notes this week that the impact on children and young people is enormous. I also notice that in conversations I have with them. I am working hard to improve claims handling and strengthening houses, but I think these children and young people also deserve more help. That is why I am taking extra measures.”

    Collaboration Children’s Phone

    Children and young people are also stressed by the earthquakes. Besides fear of their house collapsing, for example, they are sensitive to the stress of their parents. It helps children to process if they can talk about major events. That is why there is a campaign for children in earthquake areas together with the Kindertelefoon. Employees and volunteers of the Kindertelefoon are also trained for this subject.

    Educational material for children

    The Ombudsman for Children indicates that children need better information about reinforcement and damage. It can also relieve parents who are themselves dealing with damage or who are in a reinforcement process. That is why the State Secretary wants the IMG and the NCG to develop information material especially for children.

    More research

    To find out more about the well-being of young people and children in earthquake areas, the University of Groningen will conduct more research. The need for this was again underlined last week by research by the Ombudsman for Children, which shows that young people in Groningen are less happy than other Dutch children.

    On top of existing programs

    All these measures are in addition to a large number of programs that support residents with mental problems. For example, there are specific programs of the GGD, counselors are trained and there are earthquake coaches and chaplains who provide both practical and social support in the municipalities.