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Growing Pasifika Solutions Satellite Fonos 2021

Le Va held three Growing Pasifika Solutions (GPS) satellites in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland. They were smaller versions of the GPS satellite seminars, with the view of having focused regional working groups satellites. The GPS sessions were facilitated by Le Va CE, Denise Kingi-Uluave, and Apollo Taito, senior manager for mental health and addiction.

The satellite seminars were born out of feedback to Le Va in 2016, where people mentioned that they would love to see local/regional seminars as opposed to one large conference. The focus of the GPS seminars was Growing Pasifika Solutions for what the Pasifika mental health and addiction workforce would look like for the next 12-18 months, especially in light of Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Ora Aotearoa – Psychosocial and mental health wellbeing plan (revised edition December 2020). The purpose was:

  • To undertake a snapshot of current Pasifika MHA services
  • To determine if we have the capacity and capability to effectively meet the current demand and clinical presentations
  • To establish what we need to ensure Pasifika are receiving the highest standard of care to meet their cultural and clinical needs.

The Ministry of Health has invested a significant amount of funding in the primary care sector. GPS wanted to ‘unpack’ what that Pasifika workforce should look like and the range of skills required to deliver the right responses to the mental wellbeing of our Pasifika communities.  The  talanoa captured from GPS satellites can be summarised in the following:

  • There is ongoing demand and pressure on our mental health and addiction specialist services
  • The unmet demand in specialist MHA services by default is being carried by Primary care services
  • Our Pasifika workforce, although small, delivers above and beyond their contractual parameters
  • We should look at focusing on upskilling our biggest workforce non-regulatory/unregistered community workers
  • We should include training/upskilling our largest Pasifika resource families/communities eg suicide prevention training, some sort of brief intervention
  • The need for a national accessible list/calendar of Pasifika services and training
  • The desire to work collaboratively to respond to the psychosocial needs of our Pasifika families and communities, however, we need a lead or mandate to formalise this

GPS was honoured and privileged to hear the regional voices with a wide range of representatives from Health Improvement Practitioners (HIPs) to CEs and Consultant Psychiatrists.  It was humbling to hear of the work our Pasifika workforce deliver with little or no funding but driven with the values of alofa, reciprocity and tautua to our Pasifika families and  communities. The GPS team has collated all the talanoa contributions and will draft a summary report for distribution.

A special acknowledgement needs to go to all the participants that attended the GPs satellite sessions and those that contacted Le Va when they were unable to attend in person. Le Va humbly thanks you all for the gift of your valuable time. It was well spent in the company of many wonderful Pasifika and non-Pasifika people.

About the author •
Senior Manager of Mental Health & Addiction, Apollo joined Le Va in May 2017 and wants to develop health services that are innovative, relevant and service user and family/aiga-centred.

Covid-19 Update

Face-to-face workshops will not continue while New Zealand is at Level 4. We will be in contact with all participants soon.