Growing Pasifika Solutions: Addiction Seminar

 
Growing Pasifika Solutions (GPS) Satellite Seminars have proven to be an effective platform to share innovative and integrated wellbeing solutions, that address the needs of Pasifika families and communities. Funded by the Ministry of Health, this year GPS Satellite seminar collaborated with the Drua Pasifika Addictions Network, bringing together the Pasifika addiction workforce to share knowledge and innovative methods in effective prevention and treatment intervention strategies. This GPS seminar in partnership with Drua is the largest forum dedicated to Pasifika Addictions continuity.

 
Set as a pre-conference event to the Addictions Cutting Edge conference the GPS seminar was structured into three sessions: the national setting for addictions, regional and local success stories and an update from Addictions in the islands of Samoa and Tonga.
National agencies committed to Growing Pasifika Solutions included:

• Le Va’s CE Dr Monique Faleafa gave an outline of the national priorities for Pasifika in light of He Ara Oranga and the Health and Disability Service Review
• Ministry of Health Manager for Addictions Richard Taylor, Florence Leota (Principle advisor Addictions), Epenesa Olo-Whaanga (Principle advisor Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions). Richard spoke to the Ministries response to He Ara Oranga and implications for the Pasifika addictions and gambling workforce sector.
• A wonderful personal story from Adrienne Fruean (Matua Raki, Consumer Leadership Group) and a strategic view of the Pasifika Consumer network.
• The Health Promotion Agency showcased various community projects they are engaged with, especially the importance of working in co-design with Pasifika communities to embed any change.
It was also really clear that regional and local services are also Growing Pasifika Solutions, such as:
• Creative innovations led by and for Pasifika youth, supported by Helen Schmidt-Sopoaga (Clinical Team Leader, CADs, WDHB)
• A focus on problem gambling prevention, and highlighting the emerging issue of the gaming industry, led by Pesio Ah-Honi (National Director Pacific Services, Mapu Maia)
• Presenting challenges and success stories for the addiction workforce in Dunedin, as illustrated by Moana House
We were very honoured to have representatives from the Pacific region to share issues in the addiction sector, with Toma Petelo updating on Samoa’s Alcohol and Drug Courts program, and Ned Cook’s experiences in Tonga.
Le Va, in partnership with our Drua Network, would like to thank the Cutting Edge conference and DAPANZ for their ongoing support.
 
What next for Drua?
Drua is proud to announce the appointment of the new Co-Chairs: Helen Schmidt-Sopoaga and Pesio Ah-Honi.  Drua also wishes to acknowledge the great and valued work Phil Siataga has provided to Drua as its outgoing Chair, and also to acknowledge and thank Phil for his ongoing going service to Pasifika addictions and our community and families.
The new Chairs and Exec group are motivated to becoming a more proactive voice in national and planning and delivery of services to Pasifika families and communities. If you are interested in signing up to Drua please follow the link provided to register.
Apollo Taito
About the author •
I joined Le Va in May 2017 and want to develop health services that are innovative, relevant and service user and family/aiga centred.