Guest blog from Leona Notoa, social worker/mental health naviagator, PIACT, Invercargill
PIACT (Pacific Islanders Advisory & Cultural Trust Inc.) is an Invercargill-based Pacific Health and Social Services provider that is a hub of support delivering free services to the local community.
The PIACT centre houses a nurse-led drop-in clinic, which is instrumental in supporting and advocating for Pasifika patients. Along with this we also offer Brief Intervention every Tuesday which is well used. Our hub acts as a drop-in centre which is also available for hire, along with our scrumptious on-site catering services, used by the local community for functions. Our staff pride themselves in having sound local knowledge of other agencies and organisations to ensure the needs of our community are being met.
Earlier this month we were blessed to host the Le Va FLO team, who accepted an invitation from our chair, Dr George Ngaei, to present its Pasifika Suicide Prevention programme to a local group of community practitioners. The quality of the presentation and delivery was of such a high and valuable standard, including current knowledge and relevant information to our Pasifika population, that it has motivated all who attended to want more information.
This was exampled by comments such as:
Tonight was soooooo awesome thank you for inviting me…I wanted to cry when Lani shared her story, omg my heart!!! Anyway thanks again I’m inspired…I’m soooo sharing the brave video…we should so be facilitators!! What a blessing it will be.”
The way they (FLO team) delivered that was how I like it, I get it, I really enjoyed it.”
From the feedback it was also evident that the presentation has ignited many of us to take action.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be involved in the suicide prevention presentation… Anyway that I can help to support train the trainers to happen so we have a sustainable group in the community to support education and awareness I am keen. Do not have any $ but have time, interest and contacts in the community that I am willing to put to work.”
Here in Invercargill, we are excited about the opportunity to start talking more about this important issue in a safe and compassionate way.