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Pacific Mental Health Needs Focus for Discussion

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

Pacific Mental Health Needs Focus for Discussion

Pacific peoples’ mental health issues will be the focus of discussion and thought at a fono (meeting) being held in Porirua this Thursday. The meeting is being hosted by Central Region District Health Boards through Technical Advisory Services (TAS), their shared support agency. It is part of a range of national and local initiatives currently underway in the Pacific Mental Health sector.

“This is an important opportunity for Pacific mental health service providers and planners to explore current practice, trends, and obstacles influencing a coherent strategy for the delivery of culturally relevant care,” said Simon Phillips, Senior Advisor Maori and Pacific peoples, TAS.

“Central Region DHBs want to enhance workforce capacity and capability in the sector in a way that acknowledges Pacific diversity and is able to develop culturally appropriate care protocols and practices,” added Mr Phillips.

The fono will provide a forum for key people to address elements contributing to the effective delivery of mental health services for Pacific People. “Providing for the needs of Pacific people is about addressing cultural imperatives as well as effective service delivery mechanics, which fit with the needs of Pacific people. Ultimately, the opportunity to develop a responsive approach to Pacific peoples’ mental health needs will address issues of cultural relevancy, and may help to provide mainstream mental health providers with a fresh approach to the care of mental health service users,” said Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Enedmann, Director Health Strategy, Pava – a leading edge Pacific health advisory and strategic development organisation.

“Developing a culturally based perspective is about universal needs as much as it is about specific applications for Pacific people,” affirmed Mr Pulotu-Endemann. Speakers at the Fono include the following: -

Dr Debbie Ryan, Chief Advisor Pacific Health, Ministry of Health speaking on “Pacific mental health and the Pacific health strategy – trends and future challenges.”

Vito Nonumalo, Contracts Manager Mental Health, Planning and Funding, Capital and Coast DHB speaking on “Pacific mental health services - where they fit within the sector and what difference they make for consumers and their families?”

Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Enedmann, Director Health Strategy, Pava speaking on “Pacific mental health in New Zealand and service providers in the greater Wellington area”

Simon Phillips, Senior Advisor Maori and Pacific People’s Health, Central Region’s Technical Advisory Services speaking on “Pacific mental health and addiction services project.”

The Fono will take place on Thursday 9 June 2005 at Pataka Museum of Arts & Culture, Norrie St. Porirua


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