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FLO Talanoa Facilitator Profile: Jason Tiatia

E lē sili le ta’i i lō le tapua’i – Leadership from behind is important as leading from the front

FLO Talanoa  is a community led suicide prevention education programme that is evidence informed, culturally safe and co-designed to be led by Pasifika communities.

FLO Talanoa facilitators receive free training from Le Va and reciprocate by delivering free workshops in their communities – in response our communities take ownership and leadership of suicide prevention community action plans. Facilitators delivering from within their own communities has seen the adaptation of the FLO Talanoa toolkit translated to various Pasifika languages and incorporated into programmes delivered in ways that suit their respective Pasifika communities.

The team at Le Va wanted to share with you some of the inspirational people that volunteer to be FLO Talanoa facilitators. This month we profile FLO Talanoa facilitator, Jason Tiatia

Name: Jason Tiatia

Role: Senior Academic Staff at Ara Institute of Canterbury

Community: Christchurch

Tell us a little bit about yourself

A proud Samoan kiwi raised here in Christchurch east. Love life and living. Family, culture and balance is important. I value people, fun, and giving. 

What do you do on an average day?

Empowering people to enhance their potential. Educate, coach, raise, nurture and encourage students and communities particularly our Pasifika communities. Teaching Samoan language and culture. Coaching Sport and training. Loving and raising four young Samoan and Māori kids.

What do you love about your community?

I love the fact that I can be myself. We know each other well and it’s a community of close, respectful and willing to support- type of relationships that interconnect with different sectors. Also that my community has a strong representation of Samoan families, however I’d like to hear and see more participation and involvement from all Pasifika.

When did you first become interested in the suicide prevention space?

When my daughters’ preschool teacher’s son left the world – it hit home! He was doing so well in sport and he appeared to love life but there was a lot of masking going on for him, and people didn’t see or sense his distress, so he never received all the support he required.

What led you to become a FLO Talanoa facilitator?  

Emails, emails and emails. A few years back there was someone from Le Va who sent out a workshop session held here in Christchurch on prevention of suicide and I was interested particularly because the students I work with, who are predominately Māori and Pasifika youth.

How does your role as a facilitator impact or help people in your family, community?

I now have another set of skills and knowledge to pass on, and because I know my community and am a family man, I believe I am in a better position to pass on these crucial and important messages to them.   

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to work in the suicide prevention space? 

Baby steps and support. Observe and find out what you’re comfortable with delivering before taking on a larger chunk. Surround yourself with experts and understanding people that will encourage you to move forward. Work with a team of people, this will increase your knowledge and another way to share stories and experiences in a safe environment. 

Plans going forward as a FLO facilitator?

Inviting other community, school and family groups to be educated in this space. Again, small steps with big impact.

 

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