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Le Va signs MoU with global mental health leadership groups

Fran Silvestri, Denise Kingi-'Ulu'ave, Steve Appleton

(L to R) Fran Silvestri, Denise Kingi-‘Ulu’ave, Steve Appleton

“O le tele o sulu, e maua ai figota” is a Samoan proverb meaning, “Through collaboration, the most difficult challenges can be overcome.”

Partnership and collaboration are integral to the success of Le Va, Aotearoa’s leading Pacific primary prevention organisation, which is why Le Va’s Board and senior executives were pleased to sign a memorandum of understanding with the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL) this week.

Chief Executive of Le Va, Denise Kingi-‘Ulu’ave said, “Given the prevailing uncertainty in the world, many have voiced their concerns regarding its potential impact on people’s mental wellbeing. To best address these issues, we believe that strong leadership is crucial, which is why we are eagerly anticipating our collaboration with IIMHL and IIDL.”

Signing the MoU signals Le Va’s expansion into a global arena of leadership, representing Pasifika interests to achieve the best outcomes for Pacific people with disabilities and lived experience of addiction and mental health challenges.

Steve Appleton, the President and Chief Executive of IIMHL/IIDL said of his trip to Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia that it was an opportunity to formalise the collaboration with Le Va, and make progress in working together with Pasifika leaders.

“Through sharing experiences and learning from one another, we can build stronger communities, stronger services, and services that can respond more effectively to the needs of our increasingly diverse populations,” Steve said.

IIMHL and IIDL connect international mental health leaders to help them share innovations and solve problems in the areas of mental health, addiction and disability around the globe.

Nine countries are members of the group, with New Zealand being a founding member of IIMHL and the Netherlands the latest country to join IIDL, alongside Australia, Canada, England, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and USA.

Le Va supports Pasifika families and communities to unleash their full potential, bringing more than 15 years of experience to the primary prevention of suicide, violence, mental health and addiction, and strengthening the Pasifika public health workforce.

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