Te Whānau O Waipareira has launched an innovative strategy to support and improve the mental health of Māori in West Auckland.
The strategy is outlined in a new publication, Pou Tarāwaho Hinengaro or Mental Health Framework, and comes from a unique standpoint. It has been developed by an urban Māori organisation using evidence-based research to support mental health in its community.
“Mental health is not only about alleviating or preventing disorder and distress but also supporting positive mental wellbeing. It is part and parcel of anyone’s overall health,” said Raymond Hall, Chair of the Board at Te Whānau o Waipareira.
“The research has been driven and informed by the community it supports by giving a voice to service providers and whānau engaging with the programmes. The resulting strategy recognises that a one-size-fits-all system will never work. Instead, you have to take a holistic approach, which includes someone’s whānau, culture and life circumstances. Our aim is that all whānau in West Auckland will enjoy good health and wellbeing,” he added.
The strategy identifies eight priorities for ensuring the best outcomes for those engaging with the organisation:
Part of the strategy development included a workshop with all frontline staff, led by Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie, a renowned expert in Māori models of health and wellbeing.
Sir Durie describes Pou Tarāwaho Hinengaro as offering “the prospect of a new era for Māori in the realisation of enduring mental health and wellbeing.”
The strategy is in keeping with the Government’s research. Last year the Government released the results of its Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. For Māori health and wellbeing, it recognised the importance of cultural as well as clinical approaches and emphasised ties to whānau, hapū and iwi.