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Indigenous suicide prevention resource first of its kind

Indigenous suicide prevention resource first of its kind

Media Release

9 December 2015

The Mental Health Foundation is pleased to announce the release of a ground-breaking resource, which offers information about suicide prevention, identity and wellbeing for takatāpui: Māori who are whakawāhine, tangata ira tāne, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (Known collectively as Rainbow).

Takatāpui: Part of the Whānau is a collaboration between the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand (MHF) and Wellington based organisation, Tīwhanawhana Trust, written by Trust Chair Elizabeth Kerekere and funded through the Waka Hourua Community Fund.

“Takatāpui is a traditional Māori word meaning ‘intimate companion of the same sex.’ It has been adapted to embrace all Māori with diverse genders and sexualities. Claiming takatāpui shows our pride in being Māori; connects us to our whakapapa and culture; and to our rainbow counterparts,” Ms Kerekere explains.

The resource has been designed in response to an information and visibility gap for takatāpui and aims to debunk myths about this community and reduce their experience of discrimination through increased understanding.

Takatāpui are at particularly high risk of suicide and suicidal behaviour, not because they are takatāpui, but because of stigma and discrimination.

“Takatāpui experience racism and health inequalities associated with being Māori and they also face homophobia and transphobia from within whānau, hapū and iwi which can result in them being disconnected from their culture,” Ms Kerekere says.

“By accepting takatāpui for who we are, whānau play a key role in providing the sense of belonging we need to help us withstand whatever comes at us,” she adds.

This resource will help whānau understand how to make their homes, marae, churches, sports teams and schools safer places for takatāpui. It will also guide services toward being accessible, supportive and appropriate for takatāpui.

“Takatāpui wellbeing rests within whānau, friends and rainbow communities. We all have a part to play in supporting takatāpui and strengthening their connection to their culture and community,” MHF Chief Executive, Judi Clements says.

Along with the print resource, there will be a series of videos featuring five takatāpui speaking openly about their experiences and discussing the positive aspects of being takatāpui. The trailer for these videos is here.

Download the print resource or order your free copies here.

ENDS

More information about suicide prevention, including what to do when you’re worried about someone, coping with suicidal thoughts and what to do after a suicide attempt can be found at www.mentalhealth.org.nz/suicideprevention


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